Little Free Libraries

Senior Trista Tipton filling the Little Free Library located in Silver Moon Plaza
Senior Trista Tipton filling the Little Free Library located at Simpson Park

The Livingston County Library and the Chillicothe Rotary Club established the Little Free Libraries in 2015. We started with the Silver Moon Plaza location and then expanded to Simpson Park and Danner Park. Over the years they have been repaired several times and we have been fortunate to have had generous donations from locals that keep us up and running.

Starting in 2022 we are collaborating with the National Honor Society group/Chillicothe High School, regarding the stocking of books for the Little Free Libraries. We have one student per week who is assigned to this task.  The student is to visit the main branch library on Thursday or Friday to pick up a selection of books to stock the libraries with.  Students then visit the two libraries to remove unselected books and restock them. Books that are removed from the libraries are returned to the main branch. The National Honor Society has also hosted a book drive to gather more items for the Little Free Libraries.

First of three Little Free Libraries Established

May 27, 2015 | Constitution-Tribune (Chillicothe, MO)

Author/Byline: Brittany Tutt

At the Silver Moon Plaza located in downtown Chillicothe, a Little Free Library was set up on Friday. Two more Little Free Libraries are planned to be established later this week. The concept of the Little Free Library is “take a book, give a book,” according to Rotary Club member and director of the Livingston County Library, Robin Westphal.

Used, donated books will fill up all three libraries and the libraries can hold about 35 to 40 books each. According to Westphal, there will be all kinds of book genres for all ages.

“This concept promotes reading and literacy and there is a community aspect to it as well,” Westphal said.

Westphal said it brings a neighborly feel to the community by loaning books and being loaned books.

It kind of plays off the “borrowing a cup of sugar” concept, except one could potentially be borrowing his or her “cup of sugar” from someone in a different state or even a different country.

The Little Free Library concept is international; there are Little Free Libraries set up all over the world. Chillicothe is now on the National Little Free Library Registry, so when someone is driving through Chillicothe and wants a new book to read, he or she can see online that Chillicothe has three Little Free Libraries and can stop at one to take a book and leave a book.

The Chillicothe Rotary Club had heard of the Little Free Library concept and thought it would be a great concept to bring to Chillicothe; so the organization decided to make establishing three Little Free Libraries in Chillicothe a club project.

In addition to the Silver Moon Plaza Little Free Library, Westphal said a Little Free Library is hoped to be set up at Simpson Park and one at Danner Park by the end of this week.

The Little Free Library at Silver Moon Plaza was painted by local artist, Kelly Poling, who also paints Chillicothe’s historic murals. Silver Moon Plaza’s library theme is “Home of Sliced Bread.”

The Little Free Library at Danner Park will be painted to the theme of “Chillicothe Hornets,” and will have a red, white, and black color scheme. Recent Chillicothe High School graduate and talented artist Libby Rule will create the Danner Park library.

Simpson Parks Little Free Library will be made out of cedar wood to match the recent wooden lion sculpture at Simpson that was created by Chillicothe artist, Steve Holt. According to Westphal, the Little Free Library will be placed near the lion sculpture.

Westphal said these locations were chosen for Little Free Libraries because they are great places to read. For example, one could read while his or her children play at the park.

Before deciding to move forward with establishing the Little Free Library, the Rotary Club did extensive research on the idea. Westphal said that they researched how successful these libraries were because one of the club’s concerns was people taking books, but not leaving books. However, through all the testimonials they read about the libraries, they never came across one that indicated having issues with experiencing shortages of books.

Westphal said if the Little Free Libraries’ books start to dwindle in quantity, a book drive will be arranged.