Laredo pageant queen opens Little Free Library to promote literacy

One Laredo girl is doing what she can to help youngsters in the city learn through reading one library book at a time.

Miss Pre-Teen Laredo Elizabeth Bausman has started a Little Free Library right here in the city with the hopes that children, and others, can embrace the joy of reading – and maybe the community can help out along the way.

“The Little Free Library project was introduced as a community service project for the Heart of Gold Pageant Queens to pursue within their local communities by Angel and Keshawn Jameson, Heart of Gold Directors,” Bausman said.


Elizabeth and her mother, Mary, are lifetime queens with the system and wanted to install a library in Laredo. According to the spokesman for the Literacy Volunteers of Laredo, they found an anonymous local builder who used leftover materials to build the main structure of the library, and Bausman finished it by painting it her favorite color blue.

Bausman’s mother is on the executive board for the Literacy Volunteers for Laredo and introduced the project to the board. She met with Sandra Taylor to install the first library in the Pan American Courts Arts Complex.

“It was not easy scheduling a launch date due to the COVID outbreaks and the inauguration was rescheduled a few times,” Mary said. Juan and Juanita Lira from Laredo Rotary and Carolyn Schmies from Women’s City Club donated books for the library. ”

According to the Literacy Volunteers of Laredo, there are already five of these libraries throughout the city.

“Laredo has five established Little Free Libraries on the global map in central and north Laredo. But Elizabeth noticed there weren’t any in the south and east parts of Laredo, so she decided to expand her project to install five libraries within the next five years in those areas, “Mary said.” The hope is to promote literacy equally throughout the city. This can happen for those who do not like to read ebooks or who do not have the ability to check out books from our libraries. ”

Bausman said there will be Spanish books in the selections provided in the small libraries created throughout the community as well.

“There will be books in Spanish and possibly other languages,” Bausman said. “The language and level of reading will be determined by who contributes when they leave a book. That is the exciting part.”

The Bausmans said it is important to hold these libraries in place considering much of the Laredo community still lacks in many aspects of learning and reading.

“Since we are a border city, our percentage (of illiteracy) is higher than some other regions in the United States. Our community is full of arts, culture and traditions. We need to promote literacy to be more connected and stronger as a community so we can share our knowledge with the rest of the world in more ways. ”

According to the Bausmans, the way Little Free Libraries work is simple.

“You can take a book and leave a book in its place,” Mary said. “It is a trust system, but we all know that people read at different speeds and the inventory of books may run low at times. This is when we need community help from organizations such as Literacy Volunteers of Laredo, The Laredo Rotary Clubs or Women’s City Club who helped with stocking this library. ”

Each Little Free Library has a registered number on the website’s global map showing its location and how to get there. Thus, after the library is inaugurated Saturday, the new library will be seen on a global scale.

“That means anyone who is local or visiting Laredo can find the library and contribute to building a better community through literacy,” Bausman said.

Anyone can donate books and LVL has agreed to accept those donations. Those interested can contact Gloria Vasquez for more information at 956-724-5207 concerning donations and other events. Also, anyone interested can also contact Literacy Volunteers of Laredo for Bausman to install a Little Free Library in their area and meet her goal of promoting literacy in Laredo.

“We already have the second installation coming up,” Mary said. “We will announce that location soon.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button