It began as a tribute to a former school teacher who loved reading, built on the philosophy of “take a book, return a book” and a desire for community. Soon it will be part of a local community.
According to the website littlefreelibrary.org, in 2009, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, established the first “Little Free Library” as a gesture of love for his mother.
Park Hills will soon join the movement of over 25,000 Little Free Libraries around the world. Park Hills Public Library Director Lisa Sisk said the first of three little libraries to be sponsored by the city’s public library will be set up on the corner of Main and Coffman streets within the next few weeks.
The concept of Little Free Libraries has taken many forms. The first one, built by Todd Bol, was a model of a one-room schoolhouse. Others have taken shape from birdhouses, telephone booths, book shelves and doll houses.
The first Little Free Library in Park Hills will be a repurposed newspaper dispenser box donated by author, adventurer and world traveler Benka Pulko, who wrote the book “Circling the Sun” after setting the Guinness World Record for the longest solo motorcycle ride undertaken by a woman.
According to Sisk, Pulko is a friend and patron of the Park Hills Public Library and had decided to set up her own Little Free Library on the front lawn of her private residence. She offered to donate one of the old newspaper dispensers she had purchased through an online auction to the Park Hills library for their first mini-library. Sisk said they were thrilled about the donation and the prospect of joining the Little Free Library movement.
It’s the mission of littlefreelibrary.org “to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.”
The non-profit group encourages everyone who builds or sets up a Little Free Library to register it with the organization so that its location can be added to the map of mini-libraries found around the world. Information about becoming an official Little Free Library can be found on the organization’s website.
Amy Patterson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or email@example.com.