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On the last meeting of Leadership Southern Maryland’s (LSM) class of 2012, the group gathered to talk about what they would like to do if they could start something inspiring. Jody Simpson, who is College of Southern Maryland’s executive director of Student Services for the Prince Frederick Campus, described her desire to be part of the Little Free Libraries movement to promote literacy and the love of reading.

According to a press release, Simpson had learned of the nonprofit Little Free Libraries’ work to create little libraries in neighborhoods around the world and thought she could work to bring a book exchange to her community. With the help of her husband, Mark Simpson, who is Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant general supervisor in quality assurance, the Little Free Library on Acorn Lane in California, Md., became the organization’s 3,596th library worldwide.

“Reading has been, and still is, a huge part of my life. Watching people, particularly children, use the Little Free Library brings me great joy,” said Jody Simpson in the release. “As a steward of the library, I am responsible for checking the contents and making sure that it is well stocked. I have the most fun shopping at thrift stores and discount racks to find books that I think kids will enjoy.”

The Simpsons provided the initial stock of books that included a variety of titles, fiction and non-fiction, for adults and children. Neighbors are encouraged to take whatever books they wish and can return the same book or contribute new books for others to enjoy, the release states.

“Recently, I found a note from a young boy who told me what he was reading — it’s a wonderful feeling to get this kind of feedback from kids. I am working with an LSM classmate Grace Fischer to build support for Little Free Libraries throughout Southern Maryland,” Jody Simpson said in the release.

For information on Little Free Libraries and to see the Simpsons’ library located on the world map, go to http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/.

For information on efforts to bring Little Free Libraries to Southern Maryland, contact Jody Simpson at JodyS@csmd.edu.