PERRY HALL, Md. (WJZ) — A local librarian is getting ready to set up free book vending machines across the Baltimore area after earning $20,000 in grant money.
Araba Maze earned the money for the project through the United Way of Central Maryland’s Changemaker Challenge.
“My mission is to increase book access in the book desserts across Baltimore,” said Maze.
Maze took to TikTok to talk about the project and to explain why she became a librarian.
“I was reading to my nieces one day on my stoop in Baltimore and little kids started gathering around and I was like Oh ok you guys can join us!” she said.
Maze said she started reading to the children every week and eventually was inspired to become a librarian to help more kids learn how to read.
Her book vending machine program will be set up across parts of the city and Baltimore County where it is more difficult to access books.
“These books are going to be free for the kids to take home and keep and the more they read the more literacy they’ll develop,” said Maze.
The librarian is still working out the locations for the vending machines.
She believes the books will help set children up for future success.
“Kids need to learn how to read in order to set them up to be successful learners throughout their whole life, you can’t learn math and science if you don’t know how to read the content,” said Cindy Kleback, Baltimore County Public Library Perry Hall Branch Manager.
To learn more about Maze and her mission, visit her TikTok profile.