Little library encourages reading

Published 7:10 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2015

There’s a collection of books on a shelf in the community room at Parkview Gardens. See a book, take it and read it, then return.

It’s an honor system that is not uncommon. Around the country there are Little Free Libraries that do the same thing.

“They can be made out of anything,” Cindy Koether says. “Bird cages, microwaves, old refrigerators. But the idea is that it’s stocked with books, and if you come along and you want a book, you take a book and you bring it back when you’re finished. Or if you have a book you don’t want any more, you drop it off.”

Email newsletter signup

In many instances the little libraries, as they are called, are for adults. Koether, who has been meeting the Support Prince Edward Schools group and is friends with Parkview Gardens Manager Pattie Cooper-Jones, wanted to do something specifically for children to help with literacy.

She figures that by placing it in the community room in Parkview Gardens residential complex, plenty of children would be within walking distance. Plus, it is also in a safe place for them to come.

The idea, Koether says, was to have something for every age group: from picture books to material appropriate for high schoolers.

She sent a message to others involved in Support Prince Edward Schools, and members chipped in book donations that range from Nancy Drew mysteries and books about the Underground Railroad to booklets about American presidents. There were some 60 books within reach of a child over the summer.

Koether bought a $15 used bookshelf, and the Little Free Library was ready to go. 

Cooper-Jones figures there are at least 100-110 children in the complex alone. She sees they’re using the books.

“I like the fact that people take time for children because they’re in their learning stages and … that’s when you really grab hold of them,” she said.