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Ella Hill Helps Create Little Free Library

Pictured are Ella Hill and Jeanne Howell

Ella Hill, a senior at Piedmont High School, helped create the region’s first Little Free Library, a colorful book-sharing bin in a yard in Monroe’s historic district. The inspiration for the free library was a segment on NPR about the Little Free Library movement, which started in 2009 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Jeanne Howell of Monroe heard a segment on NPR about the movement and was intrigued by the idea of creating a place where people could bring and take books. She then asked Ella to join her in the endeavor and the result was the building of the Carroll Little Free Library in Ella’s yard. According to Ella, “I love books and knew this was something I’d be interested in.”

Charles Sasser built the wood-and-Plexiglass structure, Steven Stegall installed it with a special brace, and artist Bill Colt painted and decorated it. Once completed, they decided to name the bin to honor the memory of Randy Carroll, a Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department detective, who lived in the historic district until his death in March.

Ella said there are about 70 books in the library, with many more stored in her house. “We’ve already had about six families donate books.” Ella stated. While some of the books are for adults, most are for children. The library operates on trust, but as Hill noted, “If you love a book so much that you want it, then you can keep it.”

Though it’s been officially open only a short time, the Carroll Little Free Library has made progress fulfilling the three goals of the Little Free Library movement: to promote literacy, to build a sense of community, and to have more Little Free Libraries than Andrew Carnegie built.

Written by: Donne Helms, Web Editor (Portions adapted from Union Observer)
Posted: Aug 23, 2012 by Donna Helms

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