Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

December 13, 2013

Library gnome journeys to the Netherlands

Trip part of Kokomo-Howard County Public Library's geocaching contest.

A local gnome is nearing the end of its 4,561-mile journey to a library in the Netherlands.

It’s been on the road since this summer.

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library sent 12 plastic gnomes out into the world for a geocaching contest during its summer reading program.

“I came up with the idea to use gnomes to promote the library,” said library spokeswoman Lisa Fipps. “I wanted people to get excited about the library and for the library to partner more with the community. I also wanted people to realize the library is a fun place to be for events and activities, and shake that stereotype of a library being a boring shh-ing zone with books.”

Fipps put trackers on all 12 gnomes and decided where each one was headed. There are gnomes bound for places like Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio, Denmark, Holland, the Netherlands and even some places in Indiana.

Every journey ends at a cutting-edge library.

“The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is striving to become a leader in the library world, a library other libraries look to for trends,” Fipps said. “So we chose 12 libraries around the globe that are trend-setters.”

The Colorado gnome is going to Anythink Library — a trend-setter even in its name. That name tells you the library has no bounds beyond what the mind can think of, Fipps said. Anythink responds to the changing needs of the community it serves and has The Studio, where it holds hands-on learning programs.

The Anythink gnome has nearly reached that library, too.

It has traveled 2,103 miles and is about 80 miles from its destination, Fipps said.

The gnome bound for the Netherlands is winning the race to the finish, though. It has journeyed 4,501 miles and is only 60 miles away from the finish line.

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