Little Free Library opens its doors to readers

The Little Free Library program allows residents to share books in a new way.

The Town of Bartonville has expanded on the “take a book, return a book” idea by developing a gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. 

In its most basic form, the Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by, pick up a book– or two– and bring back another to share.

The books are stored in a mini house-like structure in front of Town Hall.  Bartonville resident Jim Strange constructed the library– book box– free-of-charge and used mostly reclaimed wood and painted it to look like a small version of Town Hall. 

Carol Howell and her husband, Bartonville Police Chief Dave Howell, donated the initial books, which include Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo, Divergent by Veronica Roth, I Funny: A Middle School Story by James Patterson, and Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan, plus many more.  The library will house up to 40 books at a time and titles are available in adult, young adult, and children.

Started in Wisconsin, this now international program has expanded to at least eight countries and more than 20 states, according to the map on the Little Free Libraries website.  By the end of 2013, it is estimated there will be more than 15,000 little libraries worldwide.

Visit the Little Free Library located at Town Hall, 1941 E. Jeter Rd.  For additional information, or to see how the process works, visit


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