Saving books through “Little Libraries”
For the past several years Julia and I, when visiting our son and family in Texas, have been taking books with us to read on the way and while we were in Texas. Rather than bringing the books we had finished back to Virginia with us, we placed them in a Little Library within sight of our son’s house. One year we decided to take additional books to just to put in the Library. Recently we discovered there are little libraries in Harrisonburg, too.
Booksavers (Gift & Thrift on Mt. Clinton Pike*), where I volunteer, keeps many books from an early trip to the landfill. Our donors bring their books (as well as CDs and DVDs) to our store for resale. Booksavers recycles for paper, books that are not saleable (due to minor blemishes, etc.) or have not sold after time on the shelves. But some of us at Booksavers have wanted to give these books “One More Read”.
Harrisonburg “little libraries”
People of Harrisonburg are giving books one more read by putting them in “little libraries” –free libraries, usually along the street. Some belong to the “Little Free Libraries” organization**. Some of the “little libraries” are not a part of the Little Free Library organization:
Collicello south of 3rd
Cornerstone Lane off Rt. 11 north near/at Cornerstone School
East Market just east of Mason at Strite Donuts—called “Free Library” (John Shafer, Steward) ++
East Wolfe between Myrtle and Sterling (Mary Lou Wylie) https://www.whsv.com/home/headlines/Little-Free-Libraries-Encourage-Kids-to-Read-During-Summer-Months-262338191.html
Eastern Mennonite University near the corner of Parkwood and Park. Stocked by Hartzler Library.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 660 South Main Street, near MLK, Jr. Way.
Friendly City Food Coop, Mason and Wolfe –bookshelves near the cash registers and windows‡
Immanuel Mennonite Church, 400 Kelly Street – near Hill Street.
Madison Street-between Jefferson and Monroe–stocked with the help of Vine & Fig Tree—a very colorful Library ‡
Mountain View Elementary School, Rawley Pike, Rockingham County
Myrtle and Kelly – Stocked by Gus Bus people
Our Community Place – (boxes inside occasionally) outside–proposed
Pale Fire Brewery off Bruce Street between Chesapeake and Liberty – inside
Ridgeway Mennonite Church, 546 E Franklin St
Sentara RMH Wellness Center, 2500 Wellness Drive, HNBG
South Dogwood just south of Neyland Avenue ++
West Market (33 West) near North Dogwood
Lincolnshire Drive – North end (this one is actually in Rockingham County)
Other locations stocked by Booksavers people:
Children’s Clothes Closet
Roberta Webb Preschool, Kelly Ave. (for school participants only)
Salvation Army, 895 Jefferson Street (available on distribution days)
Sentara Hospital: One near the Main entrance and one near Emergency entrance
Waterman School, 451 Chicago Avenue (for students only)
[If you know of others, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Free book offer
These people and organizations are to be commended for their work setting up the little libraries and in giving books “one more read”. Booksavers can supplement what the owner/stewards of the existing little libraries are putting in their libraries. The books available may have blemishes, may be out of date (at least, some people think so), or just don’t sell in the store. (Books that are not claimed, Booksavers sells to paper recycling.) To see what Booksavers might have to give your “little library”, make an appointment with Booksavers’ Manager, Amy Rohrer at (email@example.com ). Currently, Booksavers’ employee Sue stocks an unofficial “little library” at Waterman School and several others. Gary helps stock the one on East Wolfe. David has been delivering books to Our Community Place, Salvation Army, Vine & Fig Tree and others. Julia has sent books to Refugee Resettlement and Children’s Clothes Closet. None of these are official library stewards, just book and people lovers. We have distributed more than fifty boxes of books since the One More Read program started in October of 2018.
Booksavers has many books worthy of “one more read”. We will make these available to library owners or stewards (stewards of the Little Free Libraries they maintain are required by Little Free Library Org.). Volunteers are ready to deliver books to the Little Library stewards. Additional volunteers are welcome. For more information text David Alleman at 540-705-1437, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
More little libraries needed
Observers (nationally) of the Little Library movement have noted that most of these libraries are located in more affluent neighborhoods. This appears to be the case in Harrisonburg as well. We would like to locate Little Libraries in neighborhoods not currently served. Harrisonburg does have a few little libraries in less affluent areas. Madison Street, Myrtle and Kelly, Myrtle and Hill, and Ridgeway Mennonite on Franklin. Possible sites are near Our Community Place, Lucy Sims School, and the Salvation Army on Ashby Avenue. Stewards/caretakers are needed for these locations.
What more is needed? The Little Library organization asks $40 registration fee to make the library an official Little Free Library. This fee pays for instructions, publicity and signs. Additional funds are needed for the materials for the library box, the post and the cement. The cost would be under $75. Finally, people are needed to install the little libraries.
Ridgeway Mennonite Church, 546 E Franklin St, Harrisonburg is the latest to install a Little Library. They opened in early September. Our Community Place has made a commitment to install a Little Free Library. It should be the next Little Free Library in Harrisonburg.
**For more on the Little Library organization, see their website:
‡libraries currently stocked by Booksavers staff or volunteers.