Tiny library raises awareness of mental health issues

One Boise woman has a message to go with the free books.

BOISE - You may have seen them around town or in another state - a tiny library outside of a home or business that shelves several dozen books.

The concept is to take a book and leave a book, for free, and bring the community together through reading.

One Boise woman has joined the tiny library bandwagon, but her mission goes deeper than providing some good reads.

Merrick Macomber calls her tiny libraries Dragon Flybrarys.

She started building them for free as a way to cope with her sisters' suicide, but her own twist on this tiny library has begun to take off.

The small box holds a variety of children and adult books, and the message "take one, leave one" is written on the front.

But there is a deeper message that sits inside.

“We have used the free little library trend as a conversation piece to start talking about the difficult concept of mental health,” says Merrick Macomber, Founder of Flybrary.

In each Flybrary there is a stack of pamphlets that advocate and raise awareness for mental health issues.

The subject hits close to home for Macomber.

“I created dragon Flybrary in memory of my sister who passed away from a suicide, when she passed something good had to come of it. When my sister first was struggling, I didn't take her seriously, that is something I will always regret, and that's something that I want to change with other people,” says Macomber.

From there, Macomber built several Flybrarys across the community, stocked with donated books and mental health literature, free of charge for anyone who wanted one.

“People do not talk about mental health issues and if they do it's all pushed under the rug, there is a stigma that follows if you ever say I'm having trouble,” says Macomber.

Macomber's mission started out small but has now been turned into a nonprofit with 17 Flybrarys in the Treasure Valley, and several in Oregon, with more on the way to New Mexico and Kentucky.

“I like to say that the neighbor that is struggling may not always look for help, but that same neighbor might be looking for a book today,” says Macomber.

To get your own Flybrary or to donate books click here.
 

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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