PHOTO BY JACQUI L. HERSHBERGER
A new Little Free Library has been installed on the grounds of Kidron Community Historical Society’s Sonnenberg Village along Hackett Road. The book exchange box was Jan Hilty’s idea and she plans to register it at www.littlefreelibrary.org.
By JACQUI L. HERSHBERGER
KIDRON Jan Hilty wasn’t sure how the Kidron Community Historical Society would react to her idea about a Little Free Library on the organization’s property. They not only gave her the nod to install a box on the grounds of Sonnenberg Village – they embraced the idea.
“It’s just what we stand for — education!” she was told.
Kidron now joins communities around the world with a fun, free, neighborhood book exchange.
Little Free Library is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity, according to littlefreelibrary.org.
In 2009, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one-room schoolhouse. It was in memory of his mother who was a teacher and loved to read. He lined up books inside and put it on a post in his front yard. People around him loved having easy access to books, so he built some more and gave them away.
Rick Brooks, from UW-Madison joined efforts in the “take a book, share a book” idea and together he and Bol started the Little Free Library. There are more than 100,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and 108 countries, according to the Little Free Library website.
In an informal Little Free Library survey of more than 3,000 taken in 2017, three out of four respondents reported they read a book they normally would not have read; 73 percent said they met more neighbors; and 92 percent said their neighborhood felt like a friendlier place.
Locally, the idea was sparked when Hilty’s sister in Texas encouraged her to build a Little Free Library for Kidron.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and libraries closed, Hilty, who owns 3-D Meats with her husband, Leon, in Dalton, knew she wanted to pursue starting one. She looked it up online, downloaded a pattern and asked her neighbor to make it. They put the all-weather, 24/7 library up at the beginning of July.
Read the complete story in the Aug. 12, 2020 edition.