ASHTON — Mason County has joined a growing trend for small, rural libraries with the addition of two “little library” boxes at the Hannan location.
The boxes are located in front of the Hannan library building on Ashton Upland Road near the high school. According to Mason County Library Director Pam Thompson, the boxes are stocked with books and will be accessible to patrons 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Little libraries are popping up everywhere, not only by public library systems, but other groups and individuals as well. Thompson said they are so popular that the West Virginia Library Commission is attempting to document them all and publish a map with their locations.
For Mason County, budget cuts in recent years have found many entities searching for ways to make up the shortfall. Thompson said she is always searching for creative ways to help library patrons. Not being able to afford a librarian in the rural area, she said the little libraries will be more effective and convenient for patrons to stop at any time and pick out a book, without having to worry that the library might be closed.
Books for the boxes were chosen on recent trends of the types of books being checked out by Hannan patrons. One box is filled with adult fiction and non-fiction of various genres. Upon arriving this week to fill the boxes, Thompson said she was surprised to find the second one already filled with nice children’s books. The anonymous donor left both junior easy books, as well as chapter books.
“It’s exciting to see that people are already using them,” Thompson said.
She added the boxes will be changed out with new books every two weeks, the normal time period for a book to be checked out. Anyone wanting a specific book can call the main library at 304-675-0894, and the staff will try to have it on the next delivery.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.