Busey Bank associates recently built and installed 15 Little Free Libraries across communities the bank serves—including at Busey’s Downtown Edwardsville branch at 330 Vandalia St. and in Granite City at 3502 Maryville Road.
Built to promote connection and literacy, the Little Free Libraries are available to community members interested in increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.
“Building and installing Little Free Libraries is a small way to make a big impact in our communities,” said Robin Elliott, president and CEO of Busey Bank. “This creative partnership provides access to free books, allowing for improved literacy and education while fulfilling the Busey Promise by bringing people and resources together to generate positive change in the places we live and work.”
What started as a small book exchange created in 2009 has now spread to over 80,000 Little Free Libraries in 91 countries, and more than 120 million books have been shared in this growing global phenomenon. On average, the libraries see nearly 500 visits per location annually and have increased literacy in neighborhoods and communities by offering free access to books.
Throughout the month of September, customers and associates donated more than 5,000 books to the Busey Book Drive. Some of the books collected serve as the first donation to the Little Free Libraries at the Metro East branches, which will be listed on the Little Free Library World Map as charter numbers 111440 and 111441. To learn more, visit littlefreelibrary.org.
The Busey Book Drive and Little Free Library installations are part of a larger community initiative—Busey Drives Generosity. Through this monthly campaign, Busey associates are encouraged to give generously to benefit their neighbors, further strengthening the communities they serve.
In addition to the Book Drive in September, in which associates and customers were encouraged to donate new or gently used books, Busey is hosting the B United Blood Drive for its associates in October—stationing Blood Mobiles throughout its footprint in support of the American Red Cross. In preparation for Thanksgiving, Busey will host a Food Drive in November, accepting non-perishable food items to benefit local food banks.
Busey says it gives more than $1 million and countless volunteer hours annually.