Little Free Library Initiative growing in Spalding County

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A Griffin-Spalding Little Free Library was placed at Brighter Tomorrows Counseling on June 27 at 1815 North Expressway.

The newspaper box was donated by Griffin Daily News and decorated by students of AZ Kelsey Academy.

The stewards for the LFL will be Shannon Eller and the staff of Brighter Tomorrows.

Board Chairman Trudy Gill, of the Griffin-Spalding Chamber of Commerce, welcomed everyone and thanked them for their participation in the initiative before asking Andrea Dunson, librarian for the LFL, to open the ceremony with a prayer.

Brett Bell — who spearheads the Little Free Library campaign for the Spalding Collaborative — shared some of the history of the Little Free Library Campaign.

“The Little Free Libraries began in a small town in Wisconsin,” said Bell. “There

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are now more than 60,000 registered Little Free Libraries in every U.S. state and across the world.”

The initiative of the Spalding Collaborative started when Bell went to the Spalding County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board with a request to put a LFL outside the Fairmont Community Center.

Just over a year later, the Brighter Tomorrows LFL is the 23rd to be dedicated in Spalding County.

“I want to thank Shannon Eller and her staff for sponsoring this Little Free Library,” said Bell. “Literacy opens doors for young people and is key to their success.”

Books can be donated at dropboxes outside First National Bank’s main office and the Women’s Center at WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital, or can be put in one of the boxes.

“It is take a book, leave a book,” Bell said.

As part of a 2017 Griffin Spalding county leadership project initiative, the First National Bank Marketing Director Andrea Dunson became the librarian for the local Little Free Libraries.

“Over the past year we have had an outpouring of book donations for this project,” said Dunson. “With the help of my leadership team, we created the project to gather and sustain books for the LFL, but someone still has to manage it daily.”

“Our leadership group approached First National Bank of Griffin and asked if they would they play a role in the sustainment of program,” said Dunson.

First National Bank President Chuck Copeland agreed to have a book dropbox and also agreed for all of the books to be stored in a room at FNB.

“We have run out of space with the current shelves, and are having to make more room for the amount of books we are receiving,” said Dunson.

She had extra help this summer with an intern, Kylie Griffin, who will be a senior at Spalding High School in August.

“The idea of the Little Free Library is just amazing, and something I knew I wanted to help with when I heard about it,” said Griffin. “The opportunity to give people a chance to further their imagination with access to free books is so inspiring to me.”

Griffin organized and categorized all of the library books with the help of John Copeland, who is working to earn his Reading badge for Boy scouts.

“In addition to reorganizing the storage area for the books, Kylie and John visited all of the LFL, swapped out books, saw if any of the libraries need repair, and refilled all of the libraries with different books,” said Dunson.

According to Brett Bell and Doris Breland of the Spalding Collaborative, who Bell describes as “my right and left hands” in the initiative, the need for books continues as plans are in the works for more Little Free Libraries in Spalding County.

Landra Larson Griffin News
June 29, 2018