Little Free Library opens at Bluffton Elementary School so children can share love of reading

abredeson@islandpacket.comMarch 22, 2013 

  • LITTLE FREE LIBRARY

    Bluffton is now one of many towns across the globe that has its own Little Free Library. The small wooden box is filled with children's books that are available for loan by anyone at any time. This miniature book exchange is in front of Bluffton Elementary School. Details: www.littlefreelibrary.org

Are your bookshelves overflowing? Have your children already read all their books a dozen times?

Stop by Bluffton's new Little Free Library, and pass those old books on so others can enjoy them. And while you're there, borrow some other books for your children to enjoy.

Located in front of Bluffton Elementary School, the roughly 2-square-foot wooden box resembles a large birdhouse and is one of thousands that can be seen around the globe.

The purpose of the worldwide movement is to promote a love of reading in children. Anyone can borrow or donate children's books at any time.

Bluffton Elementary's media specialist, Vicki Moody, found out about the Little Free Library movement when she saw a post about it on Facebook. She did a little research online and decided that Bluffton needed one.

"I just felt like our area here at Bluffton Elementary was perfect because all of our community is within walking distance just about," Moody said. "There's also so many young families in our area with preschool kids so I thought it'd be a great way to get books in their hands and for them to be excited about books, even before they ever got to come to school."

Moody's husband, Jeff, donated all the materials and built the miniature library.

Vicki started out the Little Library with some of her children's books. Other teachers started donating books. And soon they had several families bringing in boxes full of books.

She said the number of books in the library varies from one day to the next. There can be anywhere from 25 to 100 books in there at once. Books should be for preschoolers through seventh-graders. Magazines geared toward families are also accepted. She said she encourages children to put notes on pieces of paper inside the books to let others know what they liked about them.

Vicki said Bluffton Elementary is the first public school in South Carolina to have one of these Little Free Libraries.

"It just seemed like a really neat outreach," Vicki said. "I really, really like the idea that it's free and open access for books. ... It belongs to the community."

Cheryl Curry and her fourth-grade son, Christopher, have donated and borrowed books from the little library. She hopes people will remember the older children when donating books. She'd like to see some "Harry Potter" or "The Hobbit" books in there.

"When I found out about it, I was really excited because I was looking to get rid of some books that the kids have outgrown," Curry said. "So it was a great opportunity for me. I had asked if we could put magazines in because I get 'Family Fun,' and we get 'National Geographic.' I thought that's a great way to share some of that stuff once we're done with it instead of just throwing it out or recycling it."

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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