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Campaign to plant 17 little libraries to Superior

Like a phoenix, Laura Selden's Little Free Library will rise from the ashes of arson. Like a hydra, it will beget about 17 more of the small kiosks full of books throughout Superior.

Selden launched a GoFundMe campaign in the wake of an arson fire that destroyed the freestanding library in front of her Superior home Jan. 14. It was sparked by the kind comments she received after posting about the fire on Facebook.

"It's not just about replacing wood, screws and books," said Selden, a librarian and mother of three. "This is the way we show the youth we are raising that a strong community supports one another, helps each other and fights back against those trying to tear it down."

Although her family planned to replace their library on their own, Selden wanted to raise $1,000 to build 10 additional libraries throughout Superior. By the time the campaign wound down, she had raised $2,350.

"I was so shocked and so grateful at how quickly the campaign was able to meet the goal," Selden said. "I love the fact that I live in a community that will step up to a challenge to make a difference."

Donations came from all areas of the community. Irene Peterson of Superior donated $250 to the cause from a Campbell Lumber gift card she had won. Students at Northern Lights Elementary raised $225 during a hat day event, including $53 in quarters from one girl. David Dahlin matched their donations with another $100.

Superior firefighters pledged to build two Little Free Libraries and put them at the fire halls on Hammond Avenue and East Fifth Street.

"I love that my community sees and values the importance of reading, of learning and having a positive impact on the community," Selden said.

One of her neighbors is designing the libraries. Now they are seeking stewards willing to place libraries on their own lawns and keep them stocked with books for all ages. Anyone interested in hosting a Little Free Library can email lauralselden@gmail.com.

Book donations for the Little Free Libraries are being accepted at the Superior-Douglas County Family YMCA, 9 N. 21st St. Adult and children's titles are needed.

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