'Little free library' coming to town
Monessen residents soon will be able to borrow library books – at the laundromat.
Jill Godlewski, children's director at the Monessen Public Library, is planning to place several portable libraries scattered around town. Godlewski hopes to situate the wooden dispensaries once the weather clears.
“The idea is to get books to people instead of people having to come to the library to get books,” Godlewski said. “We want to make sure there are no barriers to getting a book.
“We're starting small. The first one we hope to have in place when school gets out. I'm hoping the people of Monessen are going to get excited by it.”
The idea stemmed from the national “Little Free Library” organization that started three years ago in Hudson, Wisc. That's where the movement's founder, Todd Bol, built a portable wooden library in honor of his mother and placed it in his front yard.
Bol made books available and people kept coming and borrowing. For the Monessen project, Donna Walker, a city resident who works for a scholastic book company, has already donated 80 books, Godlewski said.
“It's our outreach program,” Godlewski said. “We don't need to stack up statistics, we need books in more hands. We have enough books and my bet is, the more people use it, the more people will donate books.”
Right now, Godlewski is eyeing businesses like Union Cleaners laundromat and apartment complexes such as Eastgate and Highland manors – sites conducive to reading.
“Who doesn't wish they had a book when their clothes are going around and around?” Godlewski said of the laundromat location. “We're going to start out with primarily children's books, but we'll have a few adult and non-fiction novels. If it's a big success, we can put more of a mix in.”
Godlewski said there will be strict qualifications for the books, such as “quality, new, interesting books. Nothing outdated, worn out or colored-in.”
Monessen school district Superintendent Linda Marcolini is planning for wood shop students at the high school to build sturdier, weather-proof units for outdoor locations like City Park.
“Mr. (David) Gilpin, our shop teacher and students will be making them,” Marcolini said. “They will get done before the end of the school year... our district would do anything for our community and public library.”
Unlike the public library, the portable units will operate under the honor system. But what if someone doesn't return a book they borrowed?
“That means, that in somebody's home, there's a book where there wasn't one before,” Godlewski said. “We want people to return the books ... the whole point of doing this is to place more books in more hands.”
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2635.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Artistic ‘Vision’ pays off for Charleroi grad
- Mon Valley paranormal group unlocking haunted mysteries
- North Belle Vernon woman charged with DUI, endangerment
- Assault ends North Belle Vernon man’s new-found freedom
- MIDA, Progress Council intertwined before talks of possible merger
- State Rep. Daley insists some Dems would vote for GOP budget