Book ‘thefts’ force removal of Little Free Library

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Board of the Friends of the Barbara Rose Johns Farmville/Prince Edward Community Library passed a motion approving the removal of the Little Free Library located in Meherrin, due to ongoing violations of the “one book per person” policy for this Little Free Library.

The Meherrin Little Free Library has been maintained by the Friends of the Library since the ribbon cutting ceremony March 19 2016, a release noted. Friends volunteers have kept the Little Free Library stocked with books of all genres for adults and children. Books on the Prince Edward County Public Schools Summer Reading List have been added to the Little Free Library during summer months to provide easy access to that summer reading literature.

For the past several months, volunteers have noted the rapid vanishing of books from the Meherrin Little Free Library. Books placed in the Little Free Library have vanished in less than 24 hours. The Friends posted signage reminding users that the Little Free Library was a community resource, that books were not for sale or re-sale, and that continued violations of the “one book per person” policy and “thefts” of books could result in the Friends’ Board decision to remove the Little Free Library from Meherrin.

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As the person(s) responsible for the violations took no notice of the signage, and as book “thefts” continued, the board made the hard decision to remove this valued community resource from the Meherrin site. We are working with the Leigh District Board of Supervisor to determine a new location for the Little Free Library.

As part of the efforts to discourage this kind of activity, the Friends are asking retailers in the area that accept or trade in used books to refuse to accept books that come in and are stamped with the Friends of the Library Little Free Library marking.

According to the release, “The Friends are deeply saddened that we were forced to take this corrective action.”