Sawyer Smook-Pollitt - firstname.lastname@example.org, June 17, 2023
ROCHESTER — During a break in the rain on Saturday, June 17, a group gathered outside the Plumb Library in Rochester to celebrate the grand opening of a Little Free Diverse Library.
The small, free-standing library was built by Tri-Town Against Racism, a local anti-racism group.
A Little Free Diverse Library is a stand-alone library where people can take or leave books that are specifically “diverse and anti-racist,” said Tri-Town Against Racism President Alison Noyce.
“Our dream was to have one [Little Free Diverse Library] in each town,” said Noyce. “That's a big dream because keeping a library stocked is expensive [and] time consuming … It’s a big undertaking, and today we have one in Rochester.”
Already, the group has put up Little Free Diverse Libraries in Marion and Mattapoisett. In December 2021, Tri-Town Against Racism’s library in Mattapoisett was vandalized.
The library holds books like “How to be an Anti-racist,” by Ibram X. Kendi; “A Moonless Starless Sky,” by Alexis Okeowo; and “White Fragility” by Robin Diangelo. The library also contains a number of childrens’ books by diverse authors.
“This is about putting light to content that certain members of this community have [had] difficulty finding — we hope that in finding that, it gives them their place in the community,” said Tri-Town Against Racism Executive Director Jason Chisolm. “We also hope that individuals who don’t feel like they’re a part of that group, if they’re curious and want to learn, it’s a place for them to … learn and be closer to their friends and neighbors.”
According to Noyce, the ribbon cutting coincided with Tri-Town Against Racism’s Juneteenth celebration at the library.
Juneteenth is a federal holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.
Tri-Town Against Racism’s celebration at the Plumb Library included red velvet cupcakes, strawberry rhubarb pie, and a presentation from Fairhaven Select Board Chair Leon Correy.
According to Chisolm, Correy was the first African American person elected to the Select Board in Fairhaven.
“All anybody wants is to find that person, that thing, that town, that job, that whatever, that accepts you as you are,” said Correy. “All of that brings you to what equity means … and that is why it’s such a fight. It takes so long to explain [equity], it takes even longer to understand it.”