Greene County Department of Recreation 107 Fairgrounds Road, Waynesburg, PA 15370
Phone: 724-852-5323 • Fax: 724-852-5356 • www.co.greene.pa.us
News Release County of Greene, Pennsylvania
Contact: JoAnne Marshall Communications Director Phone: 724-852-5210 / Fax 724-627-5428
Recreation to host first Little Free Library FOR RELEASE September 1, 2016
WAYNESBURG, PA The Department of Recreation will host their first Greene County registered "Little Free Library" in downtown Waynesburg.
A wooden house painted red, white and blue and titled "READ, WRITE and BLOOM" will display a variety of book interests for adult and child readers. Located near 108 East High Street and residing in a landscape area at the Waynesburg Borough parking lot 4, individuals are encouraged to take a book, read and then either return it to the book house or keep it – all for free and without a library card.
Total funding for the Little Free Library was made through a generous donation by the Carmichaels Crusaders, a group of Carmichaels Area School District teachers. Retired teacher and school bus driver, Debbie Bristor, helped raise the money through a business learning tool by offering students a chance to purchase school stationary items off a cart.
"As a thirty-five-year veteran elementary teacher, I know how vital reading is in a young child’s life - from reading math problems, traffic signs, science books, signs at amusement parks and advertisements at the mall. Reading books enables students to feel confident in themselves while laughing, crying, learning, being spooked and gathering information on topics," says Bristor.
The Little Free Library serves as an addition to the Canary Library that was first introduced in 2014 as collaboration between the department and the Greene County Library System. Throughout the summer, carts containing library books for all ages are available at each of the three Greene County pool sites – Alpha Aquatic Center in Waynesburg, Carmichaels Pool in Carmichaels and Mon View Pool in Greensboro.
"While the idea behind a free library is to take a book, leave a book; there is nothing wrong with a child taking a book to call their own and unable to give one back," said Therese Barry, System Administrator of the Greene County Library System. "What matters is getting a book to the person in need."
Library's outreach coordinator Jill Peth currently organizes and transports books to the department to be distributed to each of the remote libraries.
Recently the Colonial Place near Rolling Meadows Road put two mini library houses up, one each for adults and children. These were spearheaded by local retired teachers.
"The library has taken off tremendously," says Bristor. She takes books from these libraries to her school bus where she has a book nook inside so kids can read on their way home. “The kids love them especially the joke books. I’ll never stop contributing to this life-enhancing idea."
Bristor, speaking from personal experience, tells students a true reader loves to breath in the special smell of the book’s paper before they start reading.
Little Free Libraries began in Wisconsin in 2009, when a son built a model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. Filled with books, he placed the model house on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it, and the concept soon spread across the region and the country.
According to the non-profit, Reading is Fundamental; two-thirds of U.S. children living in poverty (more than 10 million) have no books. In addition, a 20-year study from the University of Nevada, Reno showed that children who have access to books in their homes are more likely to attend higher levels of education and have a higher income as adults.
To further promote literacy and the love of reading, the program organizers are searching for sponsors to help them become stewards of a Little Free Library, and purchase hand-crafted book houses to be placed throughout the county for public access.
For more information on the Little Free Library, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org or call the Department of Recreation at 724-852-5323.
Picture from l. to r., are Nicholas Rennie, Waynesburg Borough Police Department; Commissioner Dave Coder; Jill Peth, Greene County Library System; Chief Robert Toth, Waynesburg Borough Police Department; Pam Blaker, Greene County Department of Recreation; Debbie Bristor; and Commissioner Blair Zimmerman.
For general information, please contact the Information Services at 724-852-5399 / Toll Free: 1-888-852-5399 Greene County Office Building, 93 E. High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370