When imagining a library, you typically think of a large, old, looming building. But at Oak Bottom Village in Quarryville, PA, the library is quite the opposite.
The community recently opened a Little Free Library to encourage residents to “take a book and share a book.” The library is a small wooden structure lined with shelves to hold books residents can exchange. Little Free Libraries have been established across the country to provide increasing access to books for people of all ages and backgrounds and millions of books have been exchanged through the program.
Oak Bottom’s Little Free Library is the result of another community initiative, the Fresh Express program through Central PA Food Bank, which provides fresh produce to residents living in designated food deserts.
Sylvia Drennen, director of the Quarryville Library, visited Oak Bottom during a Fresh Express distribution day and noticed the small library (two bookshelves of books) in the corner of Oak Bottom’s community room. She reached out to Resident Services Coordinator Jennifer Santiago, mentioning that Solanco School District had a grant to build Little Free Libraries throughout the district.
Santiago knew this was an opportunity for residents. She jumped at the chance to increase access to learning and literacy in the community. Drennen connected Santiago with Karen Burkhart, an employee of the school district to begin the process. Burkhart was already familiar with HDC MidAtlantic having been both a former resident at Oak Bottom and a former employee of the organization. Drennen, Burkhart and Santiago collaborated to install the Little Free Library at Oak Bottom.
HDC MidAtlantic, Solanco School District and Quarryville Library hosted a soft opening for the library this summer to celebrate with Oak Bottom and Quarryville residents. Moving forward, a Quarryville Library volunteer will replenish the books on regularly.
While the library is housed at Oak Bottom, it is accessible to everyone in the community and both Oak Bottom and Quarryville residents are encouraged to “check out” and share books through the library. It’s already served as a useful tool for parents in the community looking to help their children stay on top of their summer reading during the school break. Residents can locate the library using the Little Free Library map available online.
Click here for more information about the Little Free Library or HDC MidAtlantic’s Resident Services.