Where do the books go?
Lisa and Little Free Libraries
By Staff Writer Robert McClelland
Lisa McDaniel-Tipton, a library employee for 15 years, is poised for a new role. In January, she will leave her job in the Reference Department to take on the responsibility of cataloging and processing new books and non-book materials. She’ll find the right spot for each new acquisition that passes across her desk. Her love for books will certainly help her there.
Although thrilled about the change, she expects to encounter a few bitter-sweet moments. “We really are a family in the Reference Department, and I am going to miss them so much.” Lisa loves working with other library employees and is proud of the library’s impact on the community.
One of the things that she is very excited about is the promotion of Little Free Libraries in Blount county. She first heard about them in a presentation at the Tennessee Library Association conference last year and thought it was wonderful idea, particularly for remote areas. She approached her supervisor and was encouraged to initiate the project. To date, the library has installed three Little Free Libraries in the county. The first was placed at the city hall in Townsend. The other two are situated respectively at the Juvenile Court Building in Maryville and in Mimosa Estates, just off Alcoa Highway.
The Friends of the Library has been an integral part of the project, providing funds as well as books. Dick Burgess, a member of the Board, constructed all three of the above mentioned little libraries, which are small, glass-fronted, weatherproof boxes mounted on a post.
An individual who takes a book or two from a Little Free Library does not need to return the exact books but can bring back others in their place. These exchanges function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside.
Many positive comments about them have been posted on the Library’s Facebook page: “That is the nicest little thing I've ever seen.” “I love this so much!” and “They're awesome!”
Little Free Libraries is a worldwide movement. Over 50,000 can be found in all 50 U.S. states and in more than 70 countries. Information can be found online at littlefreelibrary.org. Who knows? You may be inspired to build one or two yourself.
Blue library Mimosa Estates
Photo courtesy of LIsa McDaniel-Tipton, BCPL
Green library Townsend
Photo courtesy of Kathleen Christy, BCPL