The Pratt Public Library sponsored several summer youth groups who put together four Little Libraries, small box houses made for books, that were recently installed around town.
Four little wooden library boxes for books in Pratt recently joined a global phenomenon. The small, front-yard book exchanges number 36,000 around the world in 70 countries—from Iceland to Tasmania to Pakistan. Now, four new Little Free Libraries will join the movement to share books, bring people together and create communities of readers here in Pratt.
One is located in Merchant Park on the corner of Fourth & Main. The second is located at Sixth Street Park between the playground equipment and train station. The third is located at Zerger Park on the corner of Second & Thompson. The fourth is located in the little wooded area at Hampton Pennock Park which is on the corner of Larimer & Spruce.
The Little Free Libraries were built by local middle-school students with the help of Bill Temanson and Harold Huss from J. A. Knight & Sons. Students built these as a service project during our summer reading program this year. There has been a lot of community involvement with this service project. First the City of Pratt agreed to allow the Little Free Libraries to be erected in public parks. Then four local businesses donated funds to purchase the Little Free Libraries: J. A. Knight & Sons, Thimesch Electric, Home Lumber, and Westhoff Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning. USD 382 allowed students to build the Little Free Libraries at the Pedigo Buildng this summer. Parsons Jewelry donated the plaques on the Little Free Libraries and Taylor Printing the signs at the Little Free Library sites.
Pratt Public Library initially supplied books to fill the Little Free Libraries but it is hoped that people who take books will also bring books to donate to keep them full. “It’s our hope that these Little Free Libraries will bring a little more joy, a little more connection, and a whole lot more books to our community,” said Derese McAbee, Young Adult Librarian at Pratt Public Library and coordinator of the project.
The library is seeking groups who would be willing to act as stewards for the Little Free Libraries. Chapter F, PEO has agreed to be the steward for the Little Free Library located in Merchant Park. Stewardship entails checking the libraries regularly to see if they need more books, discard any trash that may have accumulated, and report to the public library of any vandalism or damage. If your group would like to adopt one of the Little Free Libraries please contact the library director, Rochelle Westerhaus, at 672-3041.
The Little Free Library nonprofit organization has been honored by the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation, and the American Library Association, and Reader’s Digest has named them one of the “50 Surprising Things We Love About America.” Each year, nearly 10 million books are shared in Little Free Libraries across the world.