From sleepy Greenfield Township, it’s a bit of a drive to the nearest full-size library. But a small addition will be unveiled this week, designed not only to provide residents with reading material but also to promote neighborliness.
It’s the Little Free Library, a free-standing wooden case holding a variety of books. Residents can stop by and take a book and are encouraged to leave a book for somebody else. There’s no deadline on returning, no library card, no fees.
Little Free Libraries are a global phenomenon. The small, front-yard book exchanges number more than 75,000 around the world in 85 countries, from Iceland to Tasmania to Pakistan. The concept has been honored by the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation and the American Library Association. Reader’s Digest named them one of the “50 Surprising Things We Love about America.” Each year, nearly 10 million books are shared in Little Free Libraries.
The newest one will be opened on Saturday, June 1, at 1 p.m. at the Greenfield Township Heritage Museum, 424 Route 106, near the township municipal building. The historical society will host a grand opening. Refreshment will be served and admission is free.
“We will be taking any donations of books that day also,” explained organizer Ann Marie Warren. “I started the whole thing after doing research on it, and I brought it to the Historical Society. They were all for it.”
Getting the idea approved was one thing, making it a reality was another. Of course, you can just buy one ready-made, Warren said, but that’s not the way they do things in Greenfield Township.
“We were lucky we had a member design it, and another member built it,” she said.
Visitors will have the opportunity to visit the Greenfield Township Heritage Museum and the “1850 Carpenter School, No. 6,” both of which are a few steps away.
The Heritage Museum is open on the third Sunday of the month, May through October for tours, to learn about the past and current residents of the community, Warren said. “Lots of pictures, artifacts and fire department gear.”
The school is one of the few remaining one-room schoolhouses in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“It was moved to its current location in 1997 by the Historical Society,” she added. “It was the first major project they took on.”
The Greenfield Township Historical Society is always seeking new members. Annual memberships help to maintain the museum building, Carpenter School and historical collections. Membership dues are $10 for an individual; $15 for a family; $100 for a lifetime membership.
For more information, call 570-430-7220 or 570-222-4875. Visit littlefreelibrary.org for more information about the worldwide organization.
“Our Little Free Library doesn’t just belong to us, it belongs to the whole township,” Warren said. “It’s our hope that this Little Free Library will bring a little more joy, a little more connection and a whole lot more books to our community.”