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Little library in Aspinwall promotes literacy

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 8:54 p.m.
The Herald
Janet Rohrer fills books in her Little Free Library she placed at her home in Aspinwall on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. Jan Pakler | For The Herald

Janet Rohrer is doing her part to encourage people to read.

Rohrer installed a “Little Free Library” at her Aspinwall home on Third Street earlier this month. The house-shaped cabinet, which was built by her handyman Bob Sipple, sits outside her home and is filled with books for people to take.

The books are part of the Little Free Library program. The Wisconsin-based organization promotes literacy through stands with books in towns around the world. Currently, 17 are registered in Pennsylvania.

In the first few hours Rohrer had the library stocked with books, five were taken.

“Since then there has been a constant, people coming and taking the books,” she said.

Books taken from the Little Free Library don't have to be returned, Rohrer said. It is currently filled with her own books and some donations.

“They can (bring books back) if they want, they can bring another book to put in or not,” Rohrer said.

The library has a variety of genres, including children's books, fiction and cookbooks. As the books are taken, Rohrer will replace them.

“It's impossible to steal them because they are to give away,” Rohrer said.

Once Rohrer's library is registered with the main Little Free Library organization, it will be placed on a map on its website.

It also will be eligible for books from various publishers.

With the library down the street from St. Scholastica Catholic Church, Rohrer expects a lot of foot traffic passing her home. She has met new people from the neighborhood since she first installed the library.

“People I've never seen or never talked to, now we'll chat because of this,” Rohrer said.

Rohrer said she hopes the library promotes literacy and encourages people to share books they've enjoyed.

“We all have so many books just lying around, how wonderful to pass them on,” Rohrer said.

For more information on “Little Free Library,” see www.littlefreelibrary.org.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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