The 8th and 9th Little Free Libraries opened Friday afternoon at Orchard Hill Park with two ribbon cuttings.
“One that looks like a red barn is for children who use the playground and the other is for adults using the walking track,” said Brett Bell who has headed up the effort with Spalding Collaborative to put up at least one Little Free Library a month across the county. Like the one downtown, Bell said, he’s put in some audio books for adults.
He thanked the sponsors for each box and invited them to speak.
Sue and Chuck Gilpin are the sponsors and stewards of the children’s one, which Sue said Chuck designed and built. She also thanked their neighbor and their daughter for their help. Bell said Sue Gilpin approached him about sponsoring one after the first one was put up. Sue Gilpin said she “grew up within walking distance of a library.”
The sponsors and builder for the one for adults are Sam and Crystal Sisavath.
“He’s really stepped up,” Bell said, “building several of these for us.”
Sam Sisavath said, “we love it, we love to read, to expand knowledge.”
Crystal Sisavath said she was not much of reader as a child, but loves books now.
“If I had this as child, I would have been a reader,” she said.
Bell said there are three steps to putting up a Little Free Library.
“First, find a sponsor, to buy or build a box,” he said. “Second is find a location. The first one in this community was outside Dr. Bruce Reid’s home on Maple Drive.“
Third and final piece, Bell said, “is to find people to be stewards who are held accountable that the material in the box is age-appropriate. For the children’s boxes, they have to check it every day. Once you’ve got the pieces of the puzzle in place, then you have to plan for sustainability.”
He thanked Andrea Dunson of First National Bank for taking that part in the project. Dunson said it was the project for the leadership team she was a part of at FNB.
She thanked First National Bank, which has set it up and added it to the job description for the marketing director at the bank to be responsible for getting books to the Little Free Libraries. The bank is the book depository for the Little Free Libraries and is one of the collection points for the books, which can be dropped off at any time during business hours.
First National Bank will soon have an outside drop box, like the one at WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital.
Bell also thanked the community for all the support, including the county and Orchard Hill officials there Friday, including Mayor James Morgan, City Councilman Robert Morgan and City Clerk Harriette Dearing.
Two more are planned in August, at Raymond Head Jr. Park at 4 p.m.on Aug. 18 and at at DeVotie Baptist Church at 4:15 p.m. on Aug. 30. The Department of Juvenile Justice will be sponsor and its youth will serve as stewards for the one at Raymond Head Jr. Park and DeVotie Baptist Church is sponsoring and stewarding the one there.
The locations so far include CHARMS at Fairmont Homes, the Oaks at Park Pointe, Third Ward Park, downtown at East Broad and South Hill streets, Fairmont Community Center, Knowledge is Power at 229 West Poplar St., and Airport Road Park.
For more information on the Spalding Collaborative LFL Initiative, see http://spalding.gafcp.org/little-free-library-initiative/ or contact [email protected] and [email protected].