Little Free Library movement comes to Bowling Green PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 10:52
Russ Frye and his "Little Free Library" located in his front yard. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
The Little Free Library movement has made its way to Bowling Green.
McKinley Drive resident and avid reader Russ Frye has started Wood County's first known Little Free Library, part of a global-wide initiative to promote literacy and the love of reading through construction of free book exchanges.
Frye's version of the Little Free Library is positioned in his front yard and made from scratch using his woodworking skills. His library is reminiscent of a one-room school house complete with a red exterior, No. 2 pencil latch and windows with a classroom scene.
Those passing by the exchange are encouraged to "take a book, leave a book."
"The idea is for it to be self-sustaining," Frye explained.
Frye originally placed about a dozen books on the library's two shelves.
"I didn't want to fill it because I don't want people to think it's just me. Hopefully they will donate books," he said.
"There are no records kept. It's all on the honor system."
The book exchanges are designed to have a place where people can place books they really like and to know they are taking out a book enjoyed by another.
"The books I put out there are ones I especially like," Frye said.
Frye's first "customer" was a girl, accompanied by her mother. The girl selected "Marley and Me" from the exchange and then clutched it tightly in her arms.
"It's not just for kids. I hope adults will take advantage of it, too," he said
He hopes to add a bench when the weather warms up to encourage people to read on-site and to socialize.
While Frye's library is the first known in Wood County, it is far from the first worldwide. In fact, there are over 2,500 "Little Free Libraries" throughout 36 countries.
While it's not required, Frye paid a $35 registration fee. That provided him with an official sign, bumper stickers and book plates. It also placed him on the organization's worldwide map of libraries.
Part of the registration fee goes toward constructing free book exchanges in Third-World countries.
"The whole concept is to promote reading and literacy around the world," Frye said.
The organization's website has pre-made libraries for sale, but many have gotten creative with their own designs. One was made to look like a doll house, another like a British phone booth and even one located along a boat dock.
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