Updated: Aug 11, 2018
By Carolyn Wright for Gwinnett Citizen--
“He that loves reading has everything within his reach”, a quote by journalist/writer, William Godwin. I developed a love of reading as a young child and reading a good book remains one of my favorite pastimes.
There is nothing better than curling up in my favorite chair, anticipating a great story. Reading can take us around the world and beyond and allows us to learn and explore anything we desire.
In 2009, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin decided to pay tribute to his mother, a teacher who loved reading. Todd designed a wooden box to look like a one room schoolhouse, attached it to a post, filled it with books and placed it on his lawn. He invited friends, neighbors and anyone who wanted to “share a book and take a book” to participate. This became the first Little Free Library, a free book exchange. The idea spread quickly and by the end of 2016, there were over 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries worldwide, including all 50 states and 70 countries.
One of the goals of the Little Free Library non-profit organization is to spark creativity. Designing and decorating the little libraries is a unique experience, which spurs a lot of artful creations from simple to very elaborate designs. Another goal is building community, which comes from real people of all ages sharing their favorite books with others. The final goal is to encourage reading and inspire a new generation to love books.
Pictured left: Creative Enterprises artist designs.
The Lawrenceville Woman’s Club (LWC) has taken on the challenge of creating a Little Free Library to be installed in Gwinnett. Rosane Sandberg who chairs the Education Community Service Program explains that “she loved the idea of the Little Free Library after seeing examples online” and decided to present the concept to the club as a project. The idea was greeted with lots of enthusiasm but the question was how to get the library built. Another LWC member, Cheryl Shaw, after doing some research discovered that Gwinnett Technical College has a construction program and they were happy to take on building the little library as a student project.
The Lawrenceville Woman’s Club is always looking for ways to help and partner with our community. To that end, the Arts Committee decided to reach out to Creative Enterprises Inc. (CEI) to paint the library with supplies provided by the club. CEI is another non-profit that provides job skills training to adults with disabilities. Joanna Cox of Creative Enterprises was delighted for clients from their arts program to have the opportunity to help on such a worthwhile project. CEI clients have done a wonderful job as you can see from the photo.
The Lawrenceville Woman’s Club supports a number of local, national and international charities and nonprofits. The Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett is a local nonprofit which the LWC has sup-ported for many years. It was an easy decision to locate the Little Free Library on their campus. The Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett is located at 660 Davis Road in Lawrenceville. Their mission is to “pro-vide the highest quality of educational and therapeutic programming available to children with and without disabilities, to nurture and challenge each student on his or her own level in all developmental and curricular areas, to instill in each student the positive self-image and love for learning which will lead to life long learning and personal development.”
All the efforts of everyone involved have come together beautifully and the Little Free Library is being installed the first week of May. Make sure you stop by to check it out and don’t forget to share a book and take a book!