Little Free Library open for business in Picayune

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 7, 2014

CHECK IT OUT: Picayune's new Free Little Library. Photo by Cassandra Favre

CHECK IT OUT: Picayune’s new Free Little Library.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

It’s not your average birdhouse.

In June, the Picayune Rotary Club celebrated the opening of the city’s first Little Free Library. 

According to Little Free Library’s website, the library’s story began in 2009 when Todd Bol, of Wisconsin, built a model of a one-room schoolhouse to honor his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. 

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Bol filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. He built more and each one had a sign that said “Free Books.”

Bol collaborated with Rick Brooks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to bring good books and people together for something positive, the website said. 

As of January, there are now 15,000 little libraries in 56 countries. 

The Little Free Libraries are built in the shape of bird houses with a door. 

Rotary member Bertha Page said she read an article in March about Little Free Library in the Rotarian magazine. 

Page said she went online and researched the project before presenting it to fellow Rotary members. 

The Rotary members heartily agreed implement a similar program in Picayune.

“Rotary and community members donated books and money out of their own pockets for supplies.” Page said. 

Community and rotary members also donated their building and design skills to the project. 

Bill Roberts constructed the house, Debbie Sharff designed the front logo, Jeremy Sheaby stained and painted the house and Sarah Smith, graphic designer at M&M Printing, designed and painted the side murals.

Page said there is a need for a program like this in the community because some people don’t have access to the library. 

“This library will bring books to the community and make them easier to obtain,” Page said.  

The Little Free Library, like its name implies, is free to use, Page said. 

Patrons can take a book and choose to return it or not. 

There are children’s books on the bottom shelf and adult books on the top shelf. 

“If you can read and have access to book, it just opens up the imagination,” Page said. 

In the future, this library will be dedicated to the memory of Paisley Claire Sheasby, Page said. 

If anyone is interested in donating books to the library, bring them to the Chamber of Commerce at the corner of Highway 11 and Goodyear Boulevard, Page said. 

The Little Library is located in front of First United Methodist Church at 323 North Haugh Street. 

Learn more about Little Free Library at