ShareThis Page

Little Free Library making a large impact

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Hannah McNulty, a junior at Pine-Richland High School, created 'The Little Free Library' on Fox Meadow Drive.
Pine Creek Journal
Hannah McNulty, a junior at Pine-Richland High School, created 'The Little Free Library' on Fox Meadow Drive. Submitted

Picture a big birdhouse with a door — full of books.

That's how Nicol Lachimia describes the Little Free Library in her Pine neighborhood.

“I think it's an amazing idea,” Lachimia said about the new gathering place for children of all ages in her Fox Meadow housing plan.

Lachimia's two children, ages 8 and 10, sometimes visit the little library more than once a day.

It sits on a post next to a patch of woods on Fox Meadow Drive. It's the brainchild of Hannah McNulty, 16, a junior at Pine-Richland High School.

“I wanted to encourage reading throughout the community,” said Hannah, a member of her school's civic-minded Key Club. “I wanted to do a story to encourage other people to do Little Free Libraries.”

The Little Free Library in Fox Meadow welcomes borrowers of all ages.

A lower shelf offers books for children. A second shelf offers books for teenagers and adults.

“You're supposed to give books back, or put new ones in,” Hannah said.

But no one tracks the titles' whereabouts.

Hannah's uncle — Bradford Mooney of Heritage Restorations in Worthington, Armstrong County — built the free-standing, log cabin-style library with a tin roof. It features strips of wood from straight-growing hornbeam, maple and witch hazel trees, according to Mooney.

“He built the whole thing from scratch,” said Hannah, daughter of Andrew and Leslie McNulty of Fox Meadow Drive.

Hannah's dad installed the small book emporium. Lachimia's children call it “Mr. Drew's library.”

“They were trying to explain to me how it was in our neighborhood, but I couldn't fathom how ‘Mr. Drew' built a library in our neighborhood,” Lachimia said. “I had no idea what they were talking about, but they couldn't wait to go back, and they kept showing up at our house with books.”

Lachimia reads to her children nightly and appreciates the little library's proximity to her home.

“To have something that you can walk to in the neighborhood is so handy,” she said.

Debbie Crnarich, president of the Fox Meadow Homeowners Association, suggested the library's location on circular Fox Meadow Drive, the main drag through a plan of about 115 homes.

“It's been a great project,” Crnarich said. “What a great idea to promote reading.”

The Little Free Library on Fox Meadow Drive is among a network of Little Free Libraries founded in 2009 as program of the nonprofit Wisconsin Partners for SustainAbility, according to the network's online site:

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.