Rochester, MN (KROC AM News )  This year’s Leadership Greater Rochester Class has selected its community impact project and it will focus on improving youth literacy by making books more available.

The group says its project calls for the construction and installation of 40 new mini libraries in neighborhoods throughout the city.The group describes a  mini library as a freestanding structure filled with a variety of books that is located on a homeowner’s property.The homeowner serves as the host for the library by ensuring the library is stocked with appropriate books provided through the program or through users who share from their own collection.

The Leadership group says the project will focus on locating the mini libraries near six elementary schools that have been rated as under-performing on literacy tests.Those neighborhoods are not served by the Public Library’s mini library program.

How can the community support the Rochester Mini Library program?

DONATE:

The Rochester Mini Library Program will depend on the generosity of donors providing cash gifts, donated construction materials, and books to fill the libraries. Donations can be made online at http://rochesterminilibrary.org/donate.

Book drives are taking place on Saturday, March 21 and March 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the following locations:

• Hy Vee South: 500 Crossroads Dr SW

• Hy Vee Barlow: 1315 6th St NW

• People’s Food Co-Op: 519 1st Ave SW

• Fareway Foods: 3964 E. Frontage 52 Rd NW

• Apache Mall (Easter Bunny Photo Area): 1201 SW 12 Street

• Barnes and Noble at Apache Mall: 1201 SW 1

Homeowners in the Rochester community are encouraged to apply to serve as library hosts. A selection committee will review and prioritize applications and select 40 hosts, which will then receive a fully constructed mini library to be installed on their property. Initially, the mini library will be stocked with books that are either donated by community members or purchased through program funds. After the mini library is installed, it will be the responsibility of the host family to ensure the library is stocked. Program organizers will assist all host families with resources to ensure that their library is stocked and in working condition. Applications for host families are being accepted through the end of April 2015. To apply online or download a printable application, visit http://rochesterminilibrary.org/apply. Construction of the library structures will coincide with the application timeline and completion is expected by mid-May 2015 with installation following.