Little Free Library takes a stand for more reading


SILVERHILL, Alabama — Stocked with 43 books, Silverhill’s new Little Free Library is now open for business at Oscar Johnson Memorial Park off of Alabama 104.

The new Little Free Library was donated by GFWC Jubilee Woman’s Club of Baldwin County with the aim to get more people to read. The library was constructed by Quentin Finnegan of Finnegan’s Mark and the club worked with the Town of Silverhill to find a place accessible to the community.

“The idea of the Little Free Library is simple,” said Carol Cleveland, who chaired the project for the GFWC Jubilee Woman’s Club. “Take a book, leave a book. The purpose of the Little Free Library is to provide a free source of books for a community in hopes of increasing the love of reading as well as being a creative community building practice.”

The first Little Free Library was built in 2009 in Wisconsin by Todd Bol as a tribute to his mother’s love for reading. He modeled the structure after one-room schoolhouses. In 2010, the Little Free Library organization was established and in 2019 there are more than 80,000 registered Little Free Libraries in more than 90 countries.

“We are thrilled to have it,” said Nicole Haigler, Silverhill town clerk. “I like the concept of it. It is a good thing for our kids and will give them something else to do at the park. They can get a book and read and enjoy the outside.”

The Little Free Library was donated to Silverhill Elementary School and the community for the reading enjoyment of the students, parents and community. Community members are encouraged to donate books for the Little Free Library. Siverhill Elementary’s school librarian will instruct students how to use the Little Free Library in her library classes.

The design for Silverhill’s Little Free Library was created by Finnegan who researched other Little Free libraries across the country. Finnegan said he chose a design that he thought was easily accessible and would hold plenty of books.

“I hope that the library inspires the love of reading and books, and that people will be motivated by the library to continue sharing within their community and beyond,” Finnegan said.

While GFWC Jubilee Woman’s Club built, installed and stocked the first set of books at the new Little Free Library, a steward will oversee restocking books and caring for the new structure. Lauree Johson of Silverhill has volunteered to be the steward of the Little Free Library. Silverhill’s Little Free Library is now registered with the Little Free Library organization and its location is now on the map on its website:

“Spreading the word about the Little Free Library is an excellent way to help ensure the library is a great success,” Cleveland said.