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Valley News Dispatch

'Little Book Houses' going up in Tarentum, Brackenridge and Harrison

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, 2:30 p.m.
A”Little Book House” stands near the gazebo in Tarentum’s Riverview Memorial Park on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Made by students at Forbes Road Career & Technology Center, it’s one of three that have been placed in the borough. Others are awaiting installation in Brackenridge and Harrison.
A”Little Book House” stands near the gazebo in Tarentum’s Riverview Memorial Park on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Made by students at Forbes Road Career & Technology Center, it’s one of three that have been placed in the borough. Others are awaiting installation in Brackenridge and Harrison.
A”Little Book House” stands near the gazebo in Tarentum’s Riverview Memorial Park on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Made by students at Forbes Road Career & Technology Center, it’s one of three that have been placed in the borough. Others are awaiting installation in Brackenridge and Harrison.
A”Little Book House” stands near the gazebo in Tarentum’s Riverview Memorial Park on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Made by students at Forbes Road Career & Technology Center, it’s one of three that have been placed in the borough. Others are awaiting installation in Brackenridge and Harrison.

Borrow, read and grow.

That’s the message on the first of the “Little Book Houses” going up in Tarentum.

Three have been placed in the borough, and more are awaiting placement in Brackenridge and Harrison.

They were built earlier this year by students at Forbes Road Career & Technology Center in Monroeville using recycled and scrap wood and donated materials.

The project was the idea of Heather Bigney, principal of the Highlands Early Childhood Center. She had seen such “little libraries” during a stroll in a Virginia housing development while visiting family there.

The concept is simple: people can take or leave books in the boxes as they wish. They operate on an honor system.

If someone finds a book they really like, they can keep it, but is asked to replace it with another.

In Tarentum, the book houses have been placed near the gazebo in Riverview Memorial Park; at the playground on Sixth Avenue at Western Street; and at The Clement at West Ninth Avenue and Center Street.

Although they only recently went up, Tarentum Councilwoman Carrie Fox said the book houses already are generating a lot of interest.

“It looks like books are being removed, which is a good thing,” she said. “If we can get some of these kids out of the world of electronics and get them reading, I see that as a positive thing.”

Three book houses are awaiting installation in Brackenridge, while four are pending placement in Harrison.

Brackenridge Councilman Dino Lopreiato said he didn’t know when the houses would go up in his borough, but he does know where: at the Salvation Army on Brackenridge Avenue, the First Church of God on Prospect Street, and in Brackenridge Memorial Park along the Allegheny River.

Lopreiato said the borough is hoping to find volunteers to help get them up soon.

Harrison Commissioner Robin Bergstrom said her township plans to have its four boxes up sometime this month.

The locations will be in Sheldon Park, Village Green, on Pond Street in Natrona and near Allegheny Valley Hospital.

“What we’re trying to do is catch areas where kids can’t walk to the library easily,” she said. “Those are all areas where it’s too hard for a little child to get to the library themselves.

“If you have it in neighborhoods, it’s very easy to walk down the street and get a book,” she said.

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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