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KHS freshman launches DIY library

Berman-library

Helaine Berman

H. Berman

Libraries are for everyone. And now, if you live in KHS Freshman Claire Galberg’s neighborhood, you don’t even have to go to the library in order to … well, “go to the library.”

Galberg’s library looks a little different than an average public or school library. It has doors, but people cannot fit inside. It has books, but there is no checkout or return, no late fees or waiting lists.

Galberg’s library, in fact, is about the size of a doll house. It sits outside the Stonebrook neighborhood clubhouse in South Lebanon, and it is available for anyone to use. Free. Take a book, leave a book. Share the reading experience with your neighbors. It is the true spirit of a library, only in miniature.

Galberg created her little library as a way to help others who share her passion for reading. She said she originally got the idea to make a free library when she saw some of them while she was on vacation.

“I saw several free libraries when I was in Florida and in other states,” she said. “I thought it would freelibrarybe cool to start one in Ohio, and if someone heard about me starting one, they might start one in their community.”

A group called Little Free Library has a website that helps people set up their own free neighborhood library. You can purchase a customizable wooden “little library” and start your own book-trading system in your neighborhood.

Galberg’s little library, which she decorated herself, has been open now since the start of the school year. It is available to anyone who wants to share, and anyone can take a book whenever they’d like for as long as they’d like, she said. People can also donate books at will.

Galberg believes that the honor system is currently the best way to go, and doesn’t worry about security. The library is never locked.

“People can’t steal what’s free,” she said. “It’s not really a library for brand new books. It’s more for old books that people liked and want to share with someone else.”

Galberg hopes her idea will spread, and encourages people to visit. She hopes that one day she will have a wide variety of books for all ages.

“I’m down there two or three times a week to organize it,” she said. “It’s hard to know how many people have used it, but I’ve had people tell me they enjoy getting books from there, and I hope that it will get bigger if more people use it.”

Galberg’s sister, Paige, is currently a junior at Kings High School and isn’t surprised by her sister’s initiative to start a library.

“She’s always been involved in the community; she does the YES tutoring program and I thought her idea about starting a free library was really cool.”

Paige also loves to read books and wants other kids to enjoy reading as well.

“I think it’s great that she came up with this idea to encourage kids to start reading, and I contributed some of my books to help her.”

Galberg is always looking for new books. Anyone interested in donating books can contact her at clairegberg@yahoo.com

More information on creating a Little Free Library.

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