Free Little Libraries and Reading Nests provide books for the community

September 6, 2018 | 4:00 am

Updated September 10, 2018 | 10:41 pm

The Free Little Library newspaper stand at Moreland Park. | Photo by Owensboro Times

Thursday, Sept. 6 is National Read a Book Day, which encourages everyone to read — and the ways to incorporate it into the day are endless.

It is not necessary to read a whole book — just reread a section of a book particularly enjoyed, read with children, or donate a book to a children’s school library, The idea is to interact with a book — or an e-reader.

Not only is there the Daviess County Public Library, but several other opportunities exist to get a book in Owensboro. These are made possible by individuals, neighborhood alliances and corporate sponsors.

The idea of the Little Free Library, with the motto, “Take a book, return a book,” began as a non-profit just six years ago and has registered book exchanges in 88 countries.

“With 75,000 Little Libraries around the world, we estimate that 54 million books will be shared this year alone and 900,000 neighbors will meet each other for the first time,” says Little Free Library founder and executive director Todd H. Bol. “But book access remains a critical challenge in so many communities around the country. We believe everyone has the right to read, and we want to help make that a reality.”

In 2015, Tyler Belcher, an Owensboro resident completed his Eagle Scout project, a Little Free Library on the east side of Smothers Park near the Allen Street pavilion. This was the first Little Free Library in the Owensboro Parks and Recreation system. Since then, the Dogwood-Azalea neighborhood alliance has established one at Moreland Park at the bathroom pavilion. It is a free-standing, unlocked newspaper stand.

According to Amanda Rogers, Director of Owensboro Parks and Recreation, books for the Smothers Park library are from generous donations to Belcher’s project and are stored at Owensboro Parks and Recreation and the parks department replenishes it as needed. Books for Moreland are provided by the neighborhood alliance that sponsors it.

Indy’s Reading Nest at Horse Fork Park provided by Independence Bank. | Photo by Owensboro Times

Independence Bank has created three reading nests, named “Indy’s Reading Nest” because of Independence Bank’s mascot Indy the Eagle. These are located at Vastwood Park in Hawesville, Yellow Creek Park and Horse Fork Park and are stocked with books for all reading levels.

Bridget Reid, Marketing Director for Independence Bank said, “Our Mortgage Operations department spearheaded this project and goes out weekly to restock…the reading nests.”

In 2015, Owensboro Public Schools partnered with six local banks to add free libraries at each elementary school and preschool. By adopting the schools, the banks also supply volunteers to the schools to read to classes on a regular basis. The financial intuitions have also purchased Little Free Libraries to hold books outside of each school.

With opportunities for children and adults alike, Owensboro’s reading options invite us to sit back, relax — and grab a book.

September 6, 2018 | 4:00 am

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