Liz Hoisington calls it a “little library,” and that’s what it is – small and a place to borrow books. This library recently opened for lending in The Plains, and several more are planned.
Hoisington, a first grade teacher at The Plains Elementary School, calls herself Your Book Lady.
“I love to read, and I want to share that love with all the kids in The Plains,” she wrote in a Facebook post announcing the first little library. “I’m so excited. I’ve wanted to do this for years!”
Hoisington realized her idea with the help of the Plains Improvement Committee. The group has been working for a couple of years on community-betterment projects, and this is the first one to get off the drawing board.
The little library is basically a baby-blue hanging cabinet with a see-through door. It can be found at Evergreen Estates in The Plains on the side of the bus stop with a sign that invites youngsters to borrow a book or two to take home to read.
“I thought that Evergreen Estates would be a great place to put one because I know that a lot of kids live there,” said Hoisington. “I was pretty sure that Evergreen Estates would be willing to host a little library.”
Hoisington stocked the box with children’s books she purchased with a $500 grant from Scholastic Books. She plans to switch them out every so often, using books people have offered to donate and books she buys used from libraries and yard sales.
“I went to check on the little library after it had been hanging for a couple days, and there were a few books gone, but I could tell that it had been looked through,” Hoisington said. “I was really happy to see that.”
After contacting committee chair Clyde Baker, Hoisington said she was invited to join The Plains Improvement Committee. Members liked her little-library notion so much that they adopted and expanded the project, calling it “little houses.”
“They are hoping to put up to 10 altogether,” said Hoisington. “Some of these little houses will be for books – adult’s and children’s. Some may also include clothing items, cleaning supplies and/or non-perishable food items.”
The hanging cabinets are assembled in Baker’s home workshop by committee members and other volunteers, including members of The Plains Lions Club.
“One of the ones currently ready is scheduled to go to The Plains Library (outside) and a second one to the park,” Baker said.
Locations for the other two (that are finished), he added, were to be decided at a meeting of the Improvement Committee this past Monday at the park.
Books and reading have been important to Hoisington all her life, she said.
“I love reading for pleasure on my own, and my favorite part of teaching is reading to my students,” she said. “I’ve always hoped that all the students in my classes not only learned to be fluent readers but developed a love of books.”
Hoisington said she hopes the little libraries will be a positive contribution to the community and that they will get a lot of use.
“I hope that those great books get worn out, and I have to find a way to get more,” she said.