Photo by Mallory

Photo by Mallory


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Monday, January 26, 2015

Birdhouse-sized Libraries

I plan to post here on Lifelines every Monday. I hope you find this blog inspiring and entertaining, perhaps finding a nugget of wisdom to help you in days to come. In the right sidebar you can sign up to follow the blog and never miss when a new post goes up. Also in the right sidebar you can join my mailing list and receive my newsletter, which has a book giveaway in each issue.
                                                                             


People have asked about it. . . .A lot of visitors have never heard of anything like that. They just can’t believe such a thing. They’re excited to see it.
--Sue Pilkilton, Executive Director, Ivy Green

Ivy Green is where deaf and blind Helen Keller was

born and learned to communicate, with the aid of her teacher and constant companion, Anne Sullivan. Ivy Green is in Tuscumbia, a small town in northern Alabama and gives the town prominence by being designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Recently the town of Tuscumbia, Alabama, made the newspaper with a human interest story concerning reading and libraries (The TimesDaily, Florence, AL [AP], January 18, 2015). Mark McDonald, a local resident, heard a story on TV about “a community that had small structures, about the size of birdhouses, at various locations. They had books in them, and the public was allowed to add to or take from them at will.”


McDonald built seven similar structures “with solid wood, including cedar to keep books fresh and insects out.” He placed the tiny libraries at seven locations in the town. Public response surpassed his expectations. McDonald only requested that anyone who takes a book leaves one in its place. McDonald said, “It’s your library then. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Anybody can visit.”

He checks them once a week to make sure everything is okay. The libraries have been out almost a year and there has been no incident of vandalism of any kind.

Ms. Pilkilton says she often sees folks using the little library placed outside Ivy Green. She said these library stations provide Tuscumbia with terrific public relations to visitors. McDonald said, “It’s rewarding to watch people utilize the libraries. It has become a community project.”

It’s refreshing to read some positive news for a change and to know that there are still some good guys out there. McDonald said, “You’ve got to give back a little bit.” Giving his town little libraries is his way of doing that.                                                                                  

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