“Little Library” encourages reading in New Iberia Barbershop

In the parish of Iberia, a barber uses his shop to do more than just cut hair.

Joe Battle, owner of Brooklyn Fades hair salon, has been cutting hair in New Iberia for three years. Now he and community advocates are raising awareness of the importance of reading at his own barbershop.

“Children started moving forward and reading became contagious and as I saw a child picking up a book I looked up. Kids follow because they see a kid catching and they want to keep doing it,” Battle said.

Take a Book, Share a Book – a city-wide initiative launched by the Literary Festival and newspaper bins donated by the Daily Iberian.

Where Battle now holds the first small library in his barbershop.

Battle says it gives kids an alternative to technology

“I just extended always looking into your phone or looking into an Ipad. Let’s go back to what started and created everything,” Battle said.

“You can take books home and keep them. Or if you have extra books, you can bring them. Embed them in this library so others can share them. You don’t have to return this book.
The little Brooklyn neighborhood lawyer, Anne Darrah said.

Darrah helped design the small library. And helped choose his first location.

“It’s important for black men to read to their kids, but it’s not for me to say it’s for the neighbors here to say it’s important to them,” Darrah said.

Darrah explains that if you want to have a “little library in your facility, the lawyers are there to help you through the process.

“There are a few steps to take to make it a library. But we wrote all those steps down so they could build it themselves and if anyone has any questions, there’s help for that,” she continued.

If you want to start your own little library, call the Bayou Teche Museum at 337-606-5977.

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