Children will soon have a public library they call their own, set up not far from the playground in Bingham Park.

HAWLEY - Children will soon have a public library they call their own, set up not far from the playground in Bingham Park.

Hawley Parks & Recreation Commission, June 27, gave an affirmative nod for Hawley Public Library to proceed with “Little Free Library” in the town’s main park.

Molly Rodgers, Administrator of the Wayne County Library Alliance, has requested a similar project in Honesdale. Pete Rodgers will be building the cabinets for Honesdale and Hawley, to hold the books.
Deb Corcoran, Director of the Hawley Public Library, called this a “great idea” and a way to place books in children’s hands- and encourage a love for reading. She said a lot of kids lack books of their own. They also hope they can encourage families to let their children enroll in the Library’s Summer Reading Program.

Nationwide

The project follows a nationwide nonprofit organization, Little Free Library, which has placed as many as 50,000 of these little libraries around the country and abroad.

The idea is that a books can be exchanged at the cabinet. A child or parent may choose a book and keep it, and place another book there in place of it. Corcoran said that if they don’t have another book to donate, that is all right.

Books of course may be read and put back in the cabinet for another child to enjoy.
The Library will monitor the books that are dropped off, and keep the cabinet tidy.

To start, she said they receive a lot of donated children’s books which they can choose from to place in the cabinet.

They will work with Parks & Rec to identify just the right spot, and whether to use an existing post or a new one will need to be set up.

More spots proposed

Molly Rodgers said that pending approval from Honesdale Council, a Little Free Library cabinet would be put somewhere by the playground in Central Park. She said she’d love to see Little Free Libraries set up in Waymart and Damascus as well- two communities lacking their own public libraries. She suggested that wood workers might like to help make the boxes, and anyone wishing to volunteer can contact her.

The Library Alliance needs to make official requests if it is to be put up on borough or township properties, but private residents could have one set up as well, if they were willing to let the public stop and take and leave books.

Take books to the people

“The goal is to put books wherever people are, to make books convenient and free and accessible,” Rodgers stated. “Sometimes people are afraid of libraries - though we are very friendly!. Sometimes people are afraid of fines, either past or future - though we have Fine Free Fridays. Sometimes people can't get to libraries when they are open.

“By putting Little Free Libraries out, we hope to get more people reading, wherever they are,” Rodgers continued. “We hope to get more parents reading to and with their children especially. Even if parents aren't readers, helping children learn to read is essential to their school and lifelong success. Looking at pictures and talking about what they see helps children's brains grow. So take a book, share it, and leave it for someone else when you're finished!”

Molly Rodgers may be contacted at the Wayne County Public Library, 570-253-1220.
For more information about Little Free Libraries, visit online at https://littlefreelibrary.org.