The Times West Virginian

Local News

December 6, 2013

‘Take a book ... Return a book’ theme in Fairmont, around world

FAIRMONT — “Take a book ... Return a book” is painted on thousands of Little Free Libraries around the nation and the world.

Since 2009, Little Free Libraries have been popping up in communities and now there is one located in Fairmont.

After surfing the Internet, Dave Huffman happened upon what Little Free Libraries are and decided to create his own.

“It started in Wisconsin with this gentleman, whose mother was a school teacher who loved to read,” Huffman said. “He built a small schoolhouse, placed it in his front yard, filled it with books and put a sign on it that said ‘Free Books’ as a tribute to her.”

That gentleman was Todd Bol of Hudson, Wis., who built more of these school houses and gave them away for others to start their Little Free Library.

“It just grew and grew,” Huffman said. “Then he hooked up with another guy by the name of Rick Brooks, and together they wanted to make this nationwide.”

Bol and Brooks were inspired by several ideas that came before them to grow the now-nonprofit organization, Little Free Library.

One of the ideas came from Andrew Carnegie’s support of 2,509 free public libraries in the 19th and 20th centuries.

“Bol and Brooks had a goal of beating Carnegie by having 2,510 Little Free Libraries,” Huffman said.

The two men from Wisconsin achieved that goal in August 2012. By January 2014, there are estimated to be between 10,000 and 12,000 Little Free Libraries around the world.

Huffman said he liked this idea of a Little Free Library and wanted to create his own.

“I thought it was a good idea because of where I live,” he said. “I’m near (Fairmont Senior High School), and there are a lot of walkers and people who walk their dogs. There was no reason why I shouldn’t do this. It’s a great thing for the community.”

Instead of using a small school house, Huffman found a barely used magazine holder. About a month ago, he got his books together and put them in the magazine holder outside his house.

Huffman said he put books that he has collected over the years in the Little Free Library. He said there are only about 15 books in the library now.

“The basic idea is, you take a book, read it and then return it,” he said. “It’s owned by everyone.”

Huffman said two of the organization’s missions with having Little Free Libraries is to promote reading in youths and adults, and build a strong community. He said anyone in the community is free to put books in the library.

Even though it has been up for only a month, Huffman said he has seen a good response to it. He said one gentleman visiting from another state took a book to read, then returned it.

“I had a comment book in there and people wrote great comments, but I think someone might have taken it as an actual book,” he said.

If the library starts to get low on books, Huffman said he has more that he’ll put in.

“I’m hoping that it feeds itself and that other people will add books to it,” he said. “I’m kind of curious to see how it all plays out.”

With basketball season coming up, and Huffman’s Little Free Library located across the street from Fairmont Senior’s gym, he hopes with the convenient location it will get a lot of use.

Huffman’s Little Free Library is located at 11 Park Drive in Fairmont and is the fourth Little Free Library in West Virginia.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Donors thanked at Christmas in July

    Guests got into the Christmas spirit Saturday at the Marion County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    July 26, 2014

  • Fire destroys old Rusty Spur

    A fire destroyed the old Rusty Spur in Monongah Friday night.

    July 26, 2014

  • Planning set for Korean War Memorial

    The Korean War Memorial will begin the process of reorganizing and begin to move towards completion faster.
     

    July 26, 2014

  • ‘L-gov’ program provides many benefits

    The “L-gov” program of the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office is providing many benefits to governmental entities across the state, including the City of Fairmont.
     

    July 26, 2014

  • Christian Lewis-EG.jpg 10-year-old Christian Lewis first in national karate tournament

    Moments before the announcement of the winners at the USA National Karate Federation (USANKF) national tournament, Fairmont resident Christian Lewis said he was very nervous.
    The 10-year-old had just finished competing in the tournament, which was held in Reno, Neveda. Lewis went to the tournament with fellow martial artists from the Mushin Do Dojo in Fairmont.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Manchin brothers embroiled in lawsuit

    A $1.7 million civil lawsuit has been filed by John Manchin II against his brothers U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III and Roch (Rock) Manchin.
    The suit involves funds that John Manchin claims he gave to his brothers in the late 1980s so that their carpet business could avoid bankruptcy.

    July 26, 2014

  • STEM museum project planned

    Christine Meek loves science.
    She and her son moved here a year ago from Denver, where she worked as a middle school science teacher and volunteered with the Denver Museum of Science and Nature.

    July 26, 2014

  • Blood Drive-RB.jpg Blood donations help save lives

    Marion County-area residents helped save lives today.
    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage due to there being 80,000 fewer than expected blood donations made since May. Citizens from the area took time to donate blood.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire at old Rusty Spur battled

    Emergency responders were called to a structure fire at the old Rusty Spur in Monongah Friday night.

    July 25, 2014

  • American Red Cross Blood Drive today

    Marion County residents have the chance to save lives today.

    July 25, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads