July 25, 2023

wooden book box affixed to pole with little free library registration

The Ludlow branch of LUSO Federal Credit Union typically sees members looking for a home loan or planning to open a savings account. But recently, a visitor to the credit union might find more than just forms and applications to help them improve their financial literacy. In a little house affixed to a post outside the branch’s main entrance, visitors can also improve their overall literacy.

LUSO, which has served members and communities in Hampden County since 1971, is pleased to announce the first registered and mapped Little Free Library in Ludlow, located at 599 East Street. LUSO’s second Little Free Library, is now available inside the ATM vestibule at the Wilbraham branch in Crane Park. 

The Little Free Library movement, which now spans the globe, was started in 2009 by Todd Bol of Wisconsin, who built a model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former schoolteacher who loved reading. He put the small structure on a post in his front yard and filled it with books that passersby could borrow or keep. Today, more than 150,000 registered Little Free Library book-sharing boxes are in 120 countries worldwide.

“We are excited to sponsor a Little Free Library in the towns where we have branch locations,” said Jennifer M.G. Calheno, President and Chief Executive Officer of LUSO Federal Credit Union. “Over the years, LUSO has supported literacy through our school banking program, by offering a free Scholastic book to local students for every six school banking deposits. This Little Free Library is a natural extension of our goal to promote literacy and a love for reading for all, not just students.”

Embracing the take-a-book/leave-a-book philosophy, these libraries are a fun and easy way to give both students and adults easy access to reading material, especially in the summer months. Students can find picture and board books as well as early readers and chapter books. Adults will find hard- and soft-cover options for both fiction and non-fiction, regularly stocked by our staff.  

"We do so much with our schools and most of us are such big readers that it just made sense to offer a Little Free Library as a way for us to give back to our community," said Ana Parrelli, VP of Business Development at LUSO. 

“As an avid reader, I often seek out Little Free Libraries wherever I am, using the map within the Little Free Library app,” said Jennifer Lopez, Marketing Director for the credit union. “My son and I love finding hidden gems and favorite titles among the collection of books and little library houses we come across. We’re thrilled to be able to participate in the Little Free Library movement and share some of our favorite books with visitors to LUSO’s Little Free Libraries.”

To learn more about LUSO Federal Credit Union, call (413) 589-9966 or visit lusofederal.com. For information about Little Free Library, visit littlefreelibrary.org.

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