GOOD READS — Lee Northrup, Rev. Joan Dunn, Carol Northrup and Carole Torok get ready to cut the ribbon on the Little Free Library, a book exchange behind the Methodist Church of North Western. The project provides residents of the community an opportunity to take a book or leave a book.

Little Free Library ready to serve North Western community

Published Jun 11, 2018 at 4:00pm

The Western Town Library Board of Trustees met in North Western on June 3 to dedicate a Little Free Library that the group worked on as a project designed to brings books closer to that community. Library Board President, Carole Torok, explained the purpose and how to use the Little Free Library.

It is set up behind the Methodist Church of North Western and provides anyone the opportunity to take a book or leave a book. She thanked the church membership for allowing the project to be set up at their church which is centrally located in the community. 

The project was suggested by Library Director Mary Jo Miller and the Library Board’s vision was brought to life by Lee Northrup, long time resident of North Western and husband to library board trustee, Carol Northrup.

The husband and wife team built, painted and set up this Little Free Library. The church membership and their Pastor, Reverend Joan Dunn, joined in on the project to promote reading and a sense of community in the small town located between Boonville and Rome. Danette Giesse headed up the committee that provided refreshments after the ceremony.

The history of the Little Free Libraries started back in 2009, when Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse. It was a tribute to his mother, who was a teacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. This caught the attention of University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Rick Brooks who paired up with Bol to organize the effort into an international phenomenon.  

By 2010, the name Little Free Library was established and the purpose of these Little Free Library book exchanges became clear: to share good books and bring communities together. Little Free Libraries have continued to grow by leaps and bounds every year. By 2017, over 60,000 Little Free Libraries were registered in all U.S. states and in over 80 countries. Each year, nearly 10 million books are shared in Little Free Libraries. To learn more, please visit littlefreelibrary.org.