COLORADO SPRINGS — For Evan Lipford, his love of reading started with his mother.
"My mom was an avid reader, " Lipford said, "I think that I just- I'm a big philosophy nerd as well and you can't really experience that without reading."
As a business owner for a software company in Colorado Springs, Commerce Puzzle, it may be an unlikely pairing between technology and books. Still, Lipford is hoping to extend his love of reading in the southeast part of Colorado Springs.
"I don't feel that the southeast gets enough of anything really," Lipford said. He along with other local businesses are partnering to set up 32 little libraries in the southeast neighborhood. The idea is simple- give a book, take a book.
He initially planned to set this up earlier in the year, but he ran into some challenges. Including 1500 books stolen that had previously been donated. Additionally, with restrictions placed under COVID-19, he felt it was best to wait.
Royal Rustic Customs is building all of the libraries, Lipford plans to set about eight of them up mid-September. Generation Wild is also funding a portion of the program.
"I wanted to improve the overall morale of that area [southeast springs] and I think this is a good way to get started," Lipford said.
While the goal is to focus on the southeast part of Colorado Springs, Lipford says they won't be limiting themselves strictly to the neighborhood.
"If there's somebody who feels like neighborhood could benefit from it, we want to look at that as well," Lipford said, who added the hope is to place the libraries in areas where people may not have easy access to a local library.
His hope is also to inspire others to read and encourage kids like his own to have confidence to open up books, get inspired, and learn.