Little Free Libraries pop up at local schools

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 11, 2015

Little Free Libraries are popping up all across the county, particularly at local schools. Bostian, Isenberg and Faith elementary schools and Knox and Southeast middle schools have Little Free Libraries on their campuses, and more are on the way.

A Little Free Library is a hand-crafted structure that holds books for anyone of any age or background to borrow and return. The Little Free Library motto is, “Take a book, return a book.” Consequently, the offerings in each Little Free Library are constantly changing.

There are more than 25,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and more than 70 countries.

Faith Elementary School Media Coordinator Karen Moyes first heard about Little Free Libraries last summer when someone she follows on Twitter found one on each leg of their family vacation last summer and posted pictures.

Moyes immediately fell in love with the idea and felt Faith was the perfect place for a Little Free Library.

“We don’t have a public library anymore,” she said, adding that the closest library is in Rockwell.

Moyes reached out to Carson High School’s cabinetry teacher, Vic McCallum, to see if any of his students would be interested in constructing a Little Free Library for Faith Elementary.

McCallum agreed, and his students, Zachary Holshouser and Trevor Scully, built the Little Free Library. Both Holshouser and Scully attended Faith Elementary School.

Last week,McCallum, Holshouser and Scully delivered the finished product to Faith Elementary School, and the school’s Student Council members helped install and put the finishing touches on the structure.

The Little Free Library will contain roughly 60 books. There will be a variety of children’s and adult books donated by teachers and students.

Moyes said she’s applied to have the library registered, and expects to receive the library’s plaque in a few weeks.

“It’ll be available for people to come and use over the summer,” she added.

Fifth grader Alexis Goodman said she’s excited to be have a Little Free Library at her school.

“It lets children who may not have enough money to buy books read,” she said.

Isenberg Elementary School also has a newly added Little Free Library.

The school’s DREAM Girls club held a grand opening for the entire school Monday.

“It’s not a mailbox or a bird cage,” teacher and DREAM Girls founder Alexis Richardson told the students, as she explained that they could borrow books year round from the Little Free Library, including during the summer months.

DREAM Girls is a service organization at Isenberg primarily made up of fourth- and fifth-grade girls.

The group’s 16 members decorated the Little Free Library in bright colors, using paint and stickers.

“We painted it together,” said fourth-grader Michelle Cartwright, who added that they took an entire DREAM session to do so.

Gregg Dunn, a member of Rowan Rotary, is the one who encouraged the DREAM Girls to tackle the Little Free Library project.

Dunn first heard about Little Free Libraries in a magazine, and with the Rowan-Salisbury School System’s recent focus on literacy, he knew a local school would be a perfect location for a Little Free Library.

“The DREAM Girls were one of the winners at the Service Above Self awards,” Dunn said, adding that he was really impressed with them. So, he approached them about installing a Little Free Library.

Dunn purchased kit for the school, and the DREAM Girls took over from there.

“They did all the work,” he said.

“They’re great kids,” Dunn said. “I was glad they took the challenge.”