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Bob Cox email@example.com | Posted: Saturday, August 9, 2014 1:15 am
Crawfordsville Rotary Club is bringing an international craze to Montgomery County. Little libraries are popping up around county towns, thanks to Rotarian’s and a local bank.
The idea is to promote reading and to add a positive new twist to each community.
“I am really excited about this new project the Rotary Club is doing,” Rotarian and little library organizer Claude Johnson said. “I love this project because we all have great books we can share and honestly don’t know how to get rid of. This program is free and has been a success all over the world.”
So far, the Rotarian’s have placed little libraries in Alamo, Wingate, Mace and Shannondale. Communities scheduled to get a little library are New Richmond, Elmdale, Yountsville, New Market and Waynetown.
Readers can go to any little library and take a book or two. Patrons can replace their chosen book with one of their own, or even keep the book. The service is free.
“The Rotary Club believes in literacy and community,” Johnson said. “The Crawfordsville Rotary Little Library Project is a good way to promote both.”
The idea behind little libraries started at a home in Wisconsin. In 2009, Todd Bol, who is a Rotarian, came up with the idea to build a small structure, that resembles a large birdhouse with a door, to place books in so neighbors could come by and borrow a book. The idea exploded as others in the homeowner’s town started building little libraries. Soon, other towns started their own project. Today there are an estimated 16,000 little libraries in over 60 countries.
The fast-growing popularity of little libraries has caught the attention of several media outlets. Johnson said he saw the idea while reading a magazine and immediately decided to pursue the idea in Montgomery County.
“The Rotary Club was immediately all for the idea when I presented them with the idea,” Johnson said.
Johnson approached officials at Hoosier Heartland State Bank about the idea in hopes of obtaining sponsors for the new project. HHSB said yes and also told Johnson they would fund the project for every Rotary Club little library.
“When Claude Johnson approached us about sponsoring the Rotary Club Little Library Project we immediately knew providing a free book exchange concept was something we wanted to be a part of,” HHSB President Brad Monts said. “We see it as a worthy project to help promote literacy and to help smaller communities.”
Finding a location to place a little library has not been too difficult. Johnson said the little libraries already in service had organizations very willing to offer a small piece of land to have a little library. Books are provided by the Rotary Clubs and the little libraries can be serviced by volunteers from the community they are in, or the Rotary Club will restock the book inventory.
Johnson said, while in Wingate recently, he heard a young girl express her excitement with the town’s new addition.
“The little girl and her mother came up to the little library at Wingate, and I overheard the girl say to her mother, ‘Look mom, Wingate has a library!’” Johnson recalled. “You know, that moment of seeing a little girl get all excited about the little library made this whole project all worthwhile.”
To donate books to the project, contact any Crawfordsville Rotary Club member. More information about little libraries can be found at www.littlefreelibrary.org.