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“Little Free Library” Coming to Hutchinson

Little Free Library is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization whose mission is to promote a sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults, and neighborhood libraries around the world.

It’s a “take a book, leave a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories.  In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share. You can, too! Little_Free_Library,_Easthampton_MA

The Connect Committee of the Heart of Hutch has been working on this initiative for several months, and in the meanwhile, a surprising discovery is that one individual in Hutchinson already has one and a second has been requested!

The first was given to June Dawson, who is involved with the foster grandparents program through Lutheran Social Services and volunteers at St. Anastasia Catholic School.  She received a little free library as a winner of an essay contest conducted by LSS titled: “Why I would like a Little Free Library.”   It can be found at Country Club Terrace Trailer Court by the general mail boxes.  June said that two curious children in the neighborhood helped to physically set up the library.  It has been very, very popular and she is considering increasing its size.  In addition, Ace Hardware in Hutchinson has donated a bench for the readers, which will be placed next to the little library in spring.

The second will be received by Teresa Schmidt who has asked for one for her birthday!  She found out about the libraries on a news program some years ago and thought it would be a great addition to her neighborhood.  Teresa lives at 830 Ash Street NE.

Little Free Libraries themselves are hand-crafted structures that contain constantly changing collections of books donated and shared by people of all ages and backgrounds. Most Little Free Libraries are placed in front yards, parks, gardens, and easily accessible locations. The Libraries are built to withstand weather of all kinds and hold 20-100 books.

Originally designed to look like a one-room school or a “house of books,” the Libraries rapidly took on a wide variety of sizes, shapes, themes and other attributes. There is no standard size and shape. Although many businesses and apartments may have had “take a book, leave a book” shelves for years, the idea of a network of unique structure with stewards, signage and social support began in 2010.  As of February 2013, all 50 states and 40 countries worldwide have been involved in the literary program  As of January 2014, there are over 15,000 Little Libraries worldwide, and counting. An estimated 1,650,000 books were donated and borrowed from 2010-2013.

In spring 2014, two more libraries will be added to Hutchinson’s little houses of books:   Maplewood Academy, at the home of John and Jeanne Hassinger at 546 2nd Avenue SW, and three additional sights are being considered.  If you are interested in more information, please contact Karen Schierman: 651-206-9106.