In the Bennett Elementary library, you will find mini crocheted influential characters perched on the shelves next to their biographies. This is a part of a project that Cooley is currently working on to inspire students to read more.

Cooley first learned to crochet as a teenager and has been doing it ever since. She uses crocheting as a tool of relaxation, mostly making blankets and afghans. Over the summer, Cooley started seeing pictures on social media of Amigurumi, which is the Japanese art of crocheting miniature creatures ranging from animals to people.

Cooley decided to learn Amigurumi and incorporate it into her library. She found a book with patterns called Crochet Little Heroes by Orsi Farkasvolgyi and decided to start with her biography section. So far, Cooley has made a miniature Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Robinson, Muhamed Ali, Jane Goodall, Malala Yousafzai, Abraham Lincoln, and Patrick Mahomes.

The mini characters sit on top of the biography selves in hopes of inspiring students to read their respective biographies.

“It must be working because the books around them keep getting checked out,” said Cooley.

Third graders just finished biographical research in class, and one student was quite excited that her chosen person, Jane Goodall, was one of the dolls sitting in the library.

Cooley is currently working on making Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She then plans to make folktale characters for the traditional literature section and animals for nonfiction. Cooley stated that characters from Harry Potter, such as Dobby and Fawkes, are sure to find a home alongside Abraham Lincoln, and Patrick Mahomes at the Bennett Library