A trip to Rich Park nourishes the body and soul, and now the mind thanks to the Mocksville Woman’s Club.
The club has placed a Little Free Library in front of the playground near Mocksville Elementary School that is also handicapped accessible courtesy of a sidewalk prepared by the town’s public works department.
“On behalf of the Town of Mocksville, we are grateful to the Mocksville Woman’s Club for choosing Rich Park as the new home for the “Little Free Library”, said Town Manager Christine Bralley. “This new addition is an opportunity to encourage reading while you experience nature and the art of sharing by selecting a book; reading and returning, or exchanging. Time well spent with “little” things that can make a big difference.”
Members of the club’s education committee will act as the stewards, maintaining the box and keeping it stocked with books for all ages, although they would appreciate help from the community.
Promoting Literacy and the Exchange of Ideas
“The Little Free Library program is a book exchange built on the principle of take a book, bring a book,” said Betty Ward, who coordinated the project. “We hope that people will enjoy reading a book and returning it or replacing it with a different book.”
Dawn Wooten hopes to get schools and community groups involved in the project, perhaps through signing up to replenish the library a certain week or month of the year, or by holding a book drive.
The club decided upon the idea to sponsor a Little Free Library last summer, and it has been a group effort ever since: Bucky Sharpe built the library and post, Dick Ward painted it in Davie County orange and black, Sidniee Suggs added the decorative touches, and club members provided the books.
This is the second Little Free Library Christy Schafer has been a part of. Her book club placed one next to the Bermuda Run post office a while back, and she enjoys looking out her window and seeing both children and adults sitting on the bench and reading or looking through the books from the box. She envisions the same thing happening at Rich Park.
“We would love to see parents reading to their children while they play on the playground, or if they have older children, having the opportunity to read while their children play,” West added.
Little Free Libraries can also be found at Ellis Middle School, built by Will Cheek of Boy Scout Troop 700 as his Eagle Scout project; North Davie Middle School, built by Girl Scout Troop 1521; and at the home of Jeffrey and KC Smith at 276 Marginal Street, in Cooleemee, built by Den Grubbs.
Smith has been thrilled with the response to her Little Free Library and has enjoyed meeting many of the people who have stopped by. “It has really helped create camaraderie in the neighborhood. Once I explained that I was not trying to take away from the Cooleemee Library, but simply encouraging people to read, people have been very supportive. I’ve had neighbors leave whole bags of books to help stock the Library and I’ve been able to start a book club.”
The History of the Little Free Library
In 2009, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse. It was a tribute to his mother, a teacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it. He built several more and gave them away. Each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS. Within a few months, thousands of people had seen the Library and more people started asking for Libraries. Rick Brooks of UW-Madison, a youth and community development educator with a background in social marketing, saw Bol’s do-it-yourself project while they were discussing potential social enterprises. Together, the two saw opportunities to achieve a variety of goals for the common good. In May 2012, Little Free Library was officially established as a Wisconsin nonprofit corporation with a board of directors. In order to maintain the integrity of the program, there are specific requirements and guidelines, as well as a registration process, necessary to establish a licensed Little Free Library.
There are now more than 36,000 registered Little Free Libraries placed by book lovers in every U.S. State and Canadian province plus 70 other countries around the world. The organization’s goal is to see 100,000 Little Free Libraries established by 2017. For more information about the program or how you can sponsor a Little Free Library, please visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.