THE first Little Free Library to be installed on a British military camp has been unveiled at Invicta Park Barracks, Maidstone, home to 36 Engineer Regiment and The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers.

The project, made possible thanks to a grant from the Royal British Legion, is designed to promote reading and encourage the community to get engaged and share books that they love. Unlike conventional libraries, readers bring books and add them to the mix.

Playgroup chairman Maj IG Mackintosh explained: “Unique to the Little Free Library is the mix of books available. With nationalities living on the camp from Nepal and 18 Commonwealth countries, the library will stock bilingual, dual and multicultural books.”

The inspiration for the design of the Little Free Library came from a collaboration between the children and the teachers at the playgroup that provides childcare to Service families.

Rachel Rogers, manager of the playgroup, added: “We felt a garden themed box would fit in nicely with the location, an area where we are developing a sensory garden for the children and other visitors to the library to explore and enjoy.”

The Little Free Library initiative began in Wisconsin, USA in 2009 and since then the organisation has spread across the world with over 60,000 Little Free libraries worldwide as far afield as New Zealand, Nigeria and Turkey. Founder Nick Cheshire said: “We’re very proud to be installing the first Little Free Library at a British military camp to provide books to the children and families of Service personnel. Happy reading, Invicta Park!”

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