Little Free Library movement coming to Fuquay-Varina

aramos@newsobserver.comJanuary 26, 2014 

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    To learn more about the Fuquay-Varina Downtown Rotary Club’s Little Free Library project or to donate money or books, email

— The concept of borrowing books is set to get a community makeover. Fuquay-Varina is joining the Little Free Library movement.

The Fuquay-Varina Downtown Rotary Club plans to set up two art-covered boxes filled with free adult and children’s books. One box will be in the Fuquay downtown area, and the other will be on the Varina side, said Lynanne Fowler, president of the rotary club.

Fuquay-Varina is working with the club to identify the best sites, she said.

Fowler hopes the boxes will be in place by April, in time for the En Plein Air Paint-off sponsored by the Fuquay-Varina Downtown Revitalization Association.

Little Free Libraries are meant to be simple: Take a book, give a book or bring it back.

It works on the honor system, and the goal is to get people reading.

The project will cost about $800, and the club has raised about half that amount, Fowler said.

“One of the rotary pillars is literacy and education,” Fowler said. “It seemed like the perfect project for us. We wanted to be hands on and create an impact in the community. It will be public art, on top of a beautification project and book exchange.”

Artist Blythe Hawes Quinn will decorate the boxes, Fowler said.

If there is a lot of interest, the club could add more little libraries around town.

Fowler said she was inspired to bring the libraries to town after a visit to Florida. She was running through a rotary park near Orlando.

She wound up borrowing a book and instead of returning it to the same site, she dropped it off at the free book exchange at her doctor’s office. It was her own way of paying it forward.

Fuquay-Varina will join other Triangle area cities such as Durham, Raleigh and Garner, which already have Little Free Libraries.

The movement started in 2009 with Todd Bol of Wisconsin. Bol built a model of a one-room schoolhouse and filled it with books in honor of his mother, who was a school teacher.

He posted a sign that said “Free Book.” The idea caught on in the United States and around the world, according to the Little Free Library website.

As of January, the total number of registered Little Free Libraries worldwide is between 10,000 and 12,000, according to the website.

Ramos: 919-460-2609; Twitter: @AlianaCaryNews

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