Virginia Rose Rodgers was a loving mother and grandmother. She also happened to be a great lover of books. To say that Ms. Rodgers was an “avid reader” is an understatement. According to her daughter, Gwen McSwain of West Union, Ms. Rodgers read a book a day, on every subject available: mystery, history, romance, classics, and everything in between. The family’s collection of books was close to two thousand titles at one time.
Since her mother’s death in 2000, McSwain has struggled to find a good home for the books, most of which are hardbacks in mint condition. Local libraries were unable to accept the majority of the collection due to already having copies of each book in circulation and lacking the space to store extras. When McSwain heard about the new Little Free Libraries popping up in Adams County, she realized she had found the perfect solution to her dilemma.
She contacted Jessica Huxmann, also of West Union, and arrangements were made to begin stocking the little libraries with her mother’s beloved books as space allows in the little library boxes. For McSwain, this is a way to honor her mother, spread her love of literature, and distribute her books all in one stroke. For the citizens of Adams County, this is a way to expand access to great books, encourage healthy and happy communities, and to increase the quality of life for everyone. Virginia Rose Rodgers would be pleased.
Little libraries can be built for $50 or less by using reclaimed materials, or can be ordered online for about $200 through the littlefreelibrary.org website. At this time, little free libraries exist only in West Union. Because little libraries work best when placed in central residential areas, the hope is to recruit individuals and/or groups, (Scouts, 4-H, and civic clubs, for instance), to build little libraries to be placed in all of the villages of Adams County. For more information about little libraries in Adams County, please call or text Jessica Huxmann at (937) 217-1622.