Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

TAKE A BOOK, LEAVE A BOOK ; Little Free Libraries Installed in All Cabell County Parks

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

TAKE A BOOK, LEAVE A BOOK ; Little Free Libraries Installed in All Cabell County Parks

Article excerpt

There's no shortage of books available for the residents of Cabell County, where 24 Little Free Libraries have been sprinkled all over Huntington neighborhoods and placed in county parks. Matt Lockhart, who hosts a Little Free Library at the corner of First Street and 12th Avenue in Huntington, said the small, outdoor book exchange stations have taken off in Huntington over the past few years.

Lockhart started with five books, and now there are more than 60 in his little library.

The concept of a Little Free Library is to take a book, then leave a book - or just borrow a book temporarily if you don't have one to donate.

Lockhart said people often donate multiple books and don't take any.

"There's a lady who, when the weather is nice, takes her little boy walking in a stroller, and she told me every time they go walking they come by and drop off the book from the prior day, while she walks he reads the children's book, Lockhart said.

Lockhart runs a Facebook page to give publicity to the Little Free Libraries in the region. Since starting the page, eight additional Little Free Libraries popped up around Huntington.

The first Little Free Library in Huntington was established by Ava Bicknell and her granddaughter in 2013 at the corner of 12th Street and 12th Avenue. Lockhart was inspired by Bicknell's Little Free Library and started his own.

Lockhart said one of the biggest misconceptions about the Little Free Libraries are that they're "official book stations, but really it's just individuals setting the libraries up.

"Often I hear people saying, I wish our neighborhood had it,' Lockhart said. "But, really, it's just as simple as that person doing it.

Residents can purchase pre-built libraries or download instructions on how to build a library at littlefreelibrary.org.

The Little Free Library organization currently is offering $200 of free books for anyone who buys one of the libraries in the "special offers section on their website.

The website also has a list of registered Little Free Libraries, where residents can add their libraries so they will appear on a national map.

Kevin Brady, executive director of the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District, said all the parks in Cabell County had Little Free Libraries installed last week. …

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