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June 27, 2014

Opening up a whole new world with reading: Little Free Library opens in Whigham

THOMASVILLE — Citizens and visitors of Whigham are being offered an opportunity to explore a whole new world absolutely free.

Generous contributors and readers of Grady County have made it possible for a “Free Little Library” to be installed in Whigham— which held its ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, June 16.

The project began when Dollye Brewer and her husband, Richard Stroop took it upon themselves to create a little library made of wood scraps from Stoop’s boat building work. Together the husband and wife ordered a plan for the project— and got other community oriented citizens involved, such as Lois Duncan, a Roddenbery Memorial Library trustee.

After Stroop cut the wood and assembled the majority of the little library compartment and Brewer sanded and registered the Little Free Library on the web site registry, Duncan took the project to the next level.

Instructor David Coleman at Cairo High School and his students were able to complete the construction of the Little Free Library, along with Dr. Zerric Clinton, the president of Friends of the Library, and his Cairo High School art students for painting the designs.

From that point on, Duncan offered, through the City Council of Whigham and Mayor George Trulock, the chance of locating the first Grady County Little Free Library in Whigham. The City of Whigham was positive after the presentation of the project was given by Pamela Grigg, Roddenbery Memorial Library director.

It was then that the council became involved in deciding the location— which was the Whigham Museum located at 114 West Broad Ave., next to City Hall in Whigham

Any Little Free Library belongs to the community and its patrons become a steward for taking care and making it useful to the community. Once a starter set of books is in place, the community members can take a book, share a book and ultimately return the book so others can enjoy it. It is the intent of the free library to become a place where friends and neighbors meet and tell about the different books they have read.

“It’s a nice opportunity to place books that have changed your life in the Little Free Library and give the opportunity to enjoy it to other people,” said Grigg.  

Many of the books placed in Whigham’s Little Free Library came from personal libraries. The contributors made sure there was something for everyone— including different genres for all different ages.

According to Duncan, a reading community is a literate community.

She said, “Reading can open up a whole new world. You are really missing out if you rely on technology and T.V.”

The creators of the Grady County’s first Little Free Library envision one of these libraries in every community. They hoped the creation of the library in Whigham will inspire others to be creative and build a little community library and not let books gather dust in their homes.

“It’s a chance for people to share books. It is a shame not to share books and let them collect dust,” said Duncan.

The first Grady County Little Free Library is set in a cozy atmosphere in front of the Whigham Museum store front, however, Grigg sees this as just the beginning. She has received a grant to put towards the purchase of four Little Free Libraries that can be placed throughout Grady County.

For more information on Little Free Library, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.

Reporter Susanne Reynolds can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1826.

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