Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

State News

April 21, 2014

Vigo Co. creating 'little libraries' around city

TERRE HAUTE (AP) — Coming soon to a neighborhood near you: A Little Free Library.

The Vigo County Public Library is looking to plant more than a half-dozen "Little Free Libraries" all around the area, the Tribune Star reported (http://bit.ly/1jjSFC2).

These new innovations are small, outdoor weather-proof boxes that contain between 20 and 100 books. The idea is for people to take a book and leave one. Or just take one and bring it back later. It's all on the honor system, but the idea seems to be working around the state and the country.

The library hopes to launch Little Free Libraries in the Terre Haute area in May or June, said Brittany Michaels, community connections coordinator for the VCPL.

"Little Free Libraries" is a not-for-profit organization that started in Wisconsin in the past few years. Today, there are around 400 official Little Free Libraries around the U.S., not including "grassroots" free libraries, such as one erected in Rosedale in 2012 by Mike and Joanie Lunsford.

"Our library has been very busy," said Mike Lunsford, a Tribune-Star columnist who loves books and wanted to promote reading in his small Parke County community. He and Joanie worked with friends and neighbors to get a small, free lending library planted outside the Rosedale Dollar General.

The Little Library currently contains dozens of books, including several children's books. It has experienced no vandalism and seems to be a success, the Lunsfords said.

"I check the library at least once a week," Joanie said. "Several times I have found the library filled with books when someone has decided to make a huge deposit."

One of the first VCPL Little Free Libraries will accompany the United Way's Mobile Market, a traveling fresh-food vendor, Michaels said, adding the library plans to purchase several Little Free Libraries - about $280 each - and hopes to have them around the area soon. Library outreach staff will tend to their maintenance, while the volunteer Friends of the Library will provide the books, she said.

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