Nestled in our offices are very special bookshelves. These bookshelves are filled with children’s books of all kinds, from infant books to young adult novels to parenting advice. The selection changes often, but one thing remains constant: all the books are free.

“We help our patients grow physically and mentally, watching and advising about their health and development. When we heard about Little Free LibrariesTM, we decided we could help support their educational development too,” said Dr. Hassan Alzein of Alzein Pediatrics.

Little Free LibrariesTM launched in 2009, when Todd Bol in Wisconsin built a tiny one-room schoolhouse, filled it with books and placed it in his front yard with a sign that said “FREE BOOKS”. Since then, the “take a book, leave a book” collections have sprouted up all over the world.

“When patients come through the door, they can now pick up a book, read it at our office, and then take it home to enjoy over and over. Older children can start reading during their appointment, and then take the book home to finish it, knowing they won’t have to leave it behind and never find out how the story ended,” smiled Dr. Alzein.

“As our patients and other building visitors age out of their own books, we hope they will consider donating to our Little Free LibraryTM. The idea that a child can inscribe a book, perhaps point out what they liked about the story on the inside cover, and then pass it on to another child within our region is just magical. This can help build positive community feelings even though these children and parents might never meet each other. And of course, these Libraries will help everyone who passes through the building and our office become better readers, which is a cornerstone for academic success.”

With very few Little Free LibrariesTM in southwest Chicagoland, the Alzein Pediatrics Libraries become even more important to advance literacy, community, and sharing in our neighborhoods.

“Our Little Free LibrariesTM has added an extra element of comfort to our practice,” said Dr. Alzein. “I love hearing about what my patients have read and what they have left behind, and to share their excitement about a new book they’ve taken.”

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