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It’s a bird house … a mailbox … no, a library!

Steven Huxmann, of Madison, Wis., works on a free library box.

Driving past the Olde Wayside Inn along Main Street in West Union, you might notice a brick-red dollhouse-looking box on a pole near the sidewalk. The structure is a “Little Free Library” which holds books for anyone with an interest in reading. The concept is simple: take a book, leave a book. There are no due dates, late fees, or library cards required, and the doors are open every day of the week, twenty-four hours a day.

The little library was funded by a generous donation from the Adams County Courts. The structure next to the Wayside Inn was built by Steven Huxmann, of Madison, Wis. Huxmann helped offset costs by donating all of his time and re-purposing salvaged materials to created the little library. This simple idea to house free books in peculiar little buildings on posts is bringing neighbors together and enhancing literacy around Adams County.

The first Little Free Library was created by Todd Bol out of a homemade wooden box on a pole in his front yard in Hudson, Wis., in 2009. There are now more than three thousand Little Free Libraries around the world, scattered in all 50 states and some 32 countries.

Elaine Lafferty of West Union loved the idea of the Little Free Library the moment she heard about it. As an advocate of community enrichment programs, Lafferty recognized the potential of the little libraries to promote literacy and build healthy neighborhood connections. When approached about the idea of installing a Little Free Library in the yard of the Olde Wayside Inn, Lafferty did not hesitate to grant permission. She had already donated funds and books for the first Little Free Library in West Union, which is located at 150 Kurt Street in the Watts Neighborhood. The Watts Neighborhood little library was repurposed from an old newspaper box donated by Maysville’s Ledger Independent newspaper company.

At least one more little library is already in the works for Adams County. It will be placed along Walnut Street on the property of the First Presbyterian Church. The installation of that little library will bring the total number up to three, all in West Union.

Please stop by and visit one of the little libraries in our community. Who knows? You might pick up an interesting book!

For more information about how you can help promote Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood, please check out LittleFreeLibrary.org. To build a little library or to donate funds or books to little libraries in Adams County, contact Jessica Huxmann at (937) 217-1622 or email her at jajjekyll@yahoo.com.

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