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West Deer considers adding more ‘Little Free Libraries’ in the township | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

West Deer considers adding more ‘Little Free Libraries’ in the township

Tom Yerace
| Friday, January 18, 2019 10:21 a.m
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“Little Free Libraries” offer neighborhoods free books that can be borrowed. Those using the libraries are asked to donate a book that others can read as well.

West Deer hasn’t had a public library for a while but one supervisor aims to create a bunch of little ones soon.

Township Supervisor Arlind Karpuzi has proposed creating a number of “Little Free Libraries” to his fellow supervisors.

“Little Free Libraries” are book sharing outlets in which books are placed in a receptacle at a neighborhood location. Residents of a community can then take a book to read at no charge and leave one they’re read for someone else to read.

There is even a “Little Free Library” website that offers tips on how to start a library, acquiring books and donations and even offers various styles of book receptacles for sale.

According to the website, it’s the largest book-sharing movement in the world with more than 75,000 little libraries registered.

“It’s a quick way to spread something I love — reading books,” Karpuzi said.

“The price to build one of these is relatively inexpensive,” he said. “On the Little Free Library website, the range is from $5 to $150.”

As it turns out, the township actually has two Little Free Libraries — one at the Moskala Field Pavilion in Bairdford Park and another one in Deer Lakes Park, according to Township Manager Daniel Mator.

He said West Deer had a public library at the senior citizens center for about 10 years, which the township supported by providing about $5,000 a year to buy books. However, Mator said it was disbanded about five years ago because the hours were very limited and it was not being widely used.

Karpuzi said he would like to place “Little Free Libraries” throughout the township, including at the senior center, and in the Curtisville and Russellton neighborhoods.

His fellow supervisors voiced support for the idea, with Beverly Jordan suggesting that perhaps the township could enlist the help of the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to help build and locate the book receptacles.

Supervisors Chairman Shirley Hollibaugh also suggested seeking volunteers from the areas around each of the libraries to more or less supervise them.

Supervisor Richard DiSanti said he liked the idea, but one aspect troubled him.

“How do you prevent someone from putting an adult book in there and some kid taking and reading it halfway through before his mother realizes what he’s reading?” DiSanti asked Karpuzi.

“That’s always going to be an issue,” Karpuzi said, indicating there is really no clear cut solution.

He said it is all based on an honor system and people supporting it by holding to that.

Karpuzi said the proposal is “fluid” and said he will come to the supervisors February meeting with more firm plans.


Tom Yerace is a freelance writer.


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