Little Free Library group here doubles goal ahead of schedule

Published 8:48 pm Friday, November 18, 2016

And the numbers are growing.

Vicksburg has become home to the Little Free Library movement and now there are six book exchange locations throughout the city.

“Our goal was to have five of these libraries up by December,” local Little Free Library organizer Logan Peay said, but we have exceeded our goal with six already up and running with six more in the works.

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Peay along with local resident Kay Kay DeRossette initiated the Little Free Library project in July with about 20 people attending the organizational meeting.

The original idea behind Little Free Libraries began in 2009 in Wisconsin and was designed not only to help promote a love of reading, but it was also used as a means of bringing people together who want to share their favorite books with the community.

As of today, locations for the local Little Free Libraries are at the Jackson Street Community Center on Walnut Street, the YMCA, the McAuley playground and the Porters Chapel playground, the Church of the Holy Trinity, Episcopal and on Washington Street between Peterson’s Art & Antiques and Cinnamon Tree.

These small-scale libraries vary in size and shape, Peay said, and can be constructed out of just about anything.

The one on Washington Street is a repurposed Coca-Cola drink box machine.

“That one is so cute. On the side of the box it reads everything goes better with a book and on the other it says the pause that refreshes reading,” Peay said.

The average size of a Little Free Library measures about 12 inches by 24 inches, Peay said and will hold from 25 to 50 books.

Stewards are assigned to the libraries once they have been constructed and placed at a location.

“Stewards make sure books are available in the little libraries and that there is no damage to the box,” Peay said.

Locals can and have been making book donations for the little libraries at the United Way of West Central Mississippi office at 900 South St. Books for all ages and subject matter are welcome.

Little Free Libraries can also be registered, Peay said.

The cost to register a Little Free Library is $47.50. This will cover the cost of shipping and handling of an official charter sign engraved with a unique charter number on it that can be placed on the library. Once registered the Little Free Library is then added to the world map, which as of November of this year has 50,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges in all 50 U.S. states and more than 70 in countries around the world.

Locations for the six local libraries that are pending include one in the Glenwood Circle area, at Bowmar Elementary School, the Academy of Innovation on Grove Street, the community garden by the Vicksburg Municipal Airport, the Fuzzy Johnson Park on Mission 66 and one on Drummond Street.

“The Little Free Library project has been very positive for the community,” Peay said, and added that in addition to the six Little Free Libraries that are already being utilized and those planned, she has had people approach her about setting up some Little Free Libraries in the county.  I would love to see one at the hospital, in Openwood, at Eagle Lake or any place that has easy access like maybe at the Clear Creek golf course or at the Bovina Grocery,” Peay said.

For more information or if anyone is interested in helping with the local Free Little Library project, call 601-415-2770.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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