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Jo Leyland, left, helps Corbin Wisnieski choose a book at her new take-a-book stand at her home at 902 Chase Street. The stand—dubbed “Rita Book”—is now open for business after adding some vinyl decals. (Courtesy photo)

‘Rita Book’ service makes debut

Imperial resident Jo Leyland attributes the idea of her new friend to a children’s literature class she recently took through Mid-Plains Community College.
“One of the biggest reasons for childhood illiteracy and difficulty in reading is due to limited access to books in the home,” Leyland said.
After some online research and some hard work, “Rita Book” was born.
“I grew up in a family with very limited resources,” Leyland said,
“but we always had books. I have a great love of reading.”
The idea for Rita came from one of her instructors, where a container with free books would be placed on school buses so children could read to and from school.
“It occurred to me that I could easily help provide books for that kind of project,” she said.
Leyland first spoke with Director Beth Falla at the Lied Imperial Public Library about the idea.
Falla mentioned her interest in a “Little Free Library” project, and Leyland volunteered to get something started.

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