South Pasadena city officials, girl scouts and community members gathered Sunday to celebrate the grand opening of the Little Free Library at Garfield Park. The library was a Silver Award project by girl scouts Sadie Metcalfe and Jillian Goldstein. They started working on their Silver Award project in the fall and raised about $400 through a bake sale and a garage sale.
They then ordered the library, finished constructing and painted it. With the help of the city staff, Sadie and Jillian installed the library in the rose garden at the park in March.
The Silver Award is the second highest award in girl scouts and is designed to produce positive, sustainable change in the community. The girls, who are part of Troop 5391, held a grand opening Sunday, April 15 for friends, family and city officials, including mayor Richard Schneider and city council members Michael Cacciotti and Robert Joe. Mayor Schneider thanked Sadie and Jillian for the project and said he was glad to have the little library at the park. Community Services director Sheila Pautsch praised them for their determination. “They took the initiative in picking their project and they knew where they wanted it,” she said. “They were very professional. I didn’t really have to do anything.”
The girls each spoke during the event, thanking their troop leader, their parents and the city. Sadie said the park is filled with memories of girl scout campfires and birthday parties. “That’s one of the reasons why we wanted to build our Little Free Library here,” she said. “We think Little Free Libraries are important because they encourage and inspire children and adults to read. It’s a great opportunity to get free books and to leave books.”
Little Free Libraries are located around the world and have the motto, “Take a book, Return a book.” There are many located around South Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. Jillian said she believed that the park is a good place to relax and read books, and she said she enjoyed doing the project. “It was fun to do,” she said.
During Sunday’s grand opening celebration, Sadie and Jillian used giant scissors to cut an orange ribbon. They are both in the 8th grade at South Pasadena Middle School.