Tulsa Crime Stoppers To Add 'Little Libraries' To Low Income Areas

Saturday, November 2nd 2019, 11:18 pm
By: Erick Payne

Tulsa Crime Stoppers is bringing more than a dozen little libraries to low-income and high-crime areas in the next few days.

The mini-libraries are former Tulsa World newspaper boxes filled with books for kids to read.

The main goal is to raise literacy rates and lower crime. It's part of Tulsa police's reading patrol program.

Tulsa Police Sergeant Jennifer Murphy, and University of Tulsa graduate, has been working Tulsa streets for nearly 20 years, but she says she felt the need to do even more for kids in low-income communities.

"Several years into my career, I decided I needed to be more involved in the community," Murphy said.

Murphy started reading to elementary school kids five years ago. That sparked a reading program a couple years later at a few different apartments.

"For the kids in the communities I've worked, they're seeing the police on their worst days," she said.

That grew into citywide police reading patrol program this past year. They have officers at three spots in Tulsa, and this week they're adding these "Little Libraries" to low-income and high crime neighborhoods.

They have 15 of them, painted bright blue with dogs from the animal shelter posing as superheroes on the sides. They'll each be stocked with books.

"I think it's just really positive for us, it's positive for the police department and City, and important to promote literacy for children, that's huge, it opens a lot of doors to them," Murphy said.

So far, she's seen kids from two years old, to teenagers, getting involved. Tulsa Crime Stoppers says higher literacy rates and more education can help lower crime.

"Being there when it wasn't a time of crisis, and really building those relationships, is very positive," Murphy said.

This is going to be an ongoing program where they maintain and restock the books. Crime Stoppers has been organizing book drives for people who want to help.

Related Story: ‘Little Libraries’: Unique Crime Fighting Tool Aims To Make Tulsa Safer