The Little Free Library movement has taken the world by storm over the past 10 years with more than 80,000 Little Free Libraries emerging across all 50 states and over 90 countries. The movement was inspired by Todd H. Bol who started the first Little Free Library in his front yard in 2009 as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher.
Owensboro has four Little Free Library locations, with the latest being installed at Burns Middle School (BMS) on Wednesday. BMS teachers, students and staff were on hand, as well as DCPS Superintendent Matt Robbins, to unveil the new addition to the BMS outdoor entryway.
According to BMS Library Media Specialist Elizabeth Muster, the reading bench and book storage area will allow students, families and members of the public 24-hour access to reading materials. Anyone is welcome to stop by to take books or may drop off reading materials for others to enjoy.
The idea for the BMS Little Free Library began this past February, when John Landry from the Kentucky Education Association Student Program (KWC-SP) at Kentucky Wesleyan College contacted BMS principal Dane Ferguson about sponsoring a book drive for BMS. It was only a matter of time before a new idea began to take shape.
After receiving a school-wide email from Ferguson, Muster suggested the idea of a Little Free Library. From there, Muster said the KWC Student Program worked with community partners Lowe’s and Sherwin-Williams to donate the necessary materials for the bench.
The color scheme for the bench was initially designed by Muster’s library helpers and painted with all-weather paint by the students at Kentucky Wesleyan.
“It needed to be tall enough for middle school kids to sit on,” Muster said of the bench that was installed under the overhang near the parent drop off and pick up line.
Overall, Muster was pleased with the result of the project and hopes that the bench sees a frequent rotation of newly donated books.
Those wanting to donate new or gently used books in excellent condition may do so to one of the four Little Free Libraries located at Burns Middle School at 4610 Goetz Drive, the playground at Smothers Park, 20th Street between Jr. Miller and Frederica Street and Wintergreen Loop North.