BIDWELL — The Harrison family of Bidwell on Gavin Street is sharing its love of reading in conjunction with spreading an international phenomena involving tiny libraries in outdoor stations that look similar to mailboxes.
“We had heard about the (free libraries) through stuff on social media,” Brittani Harrison said. “We just thought it was a cool idea because the kids get off the bus at the top of the hill and walk (passed the Harrison home). It’s just a good idea. You can take a book or leave a book. It’s not like the library where we will fine you. If you love the book, you can just keep it. You can bring different books back. There are a ton of kids that live (in the neighborhood). I said this is a way for them to get some books and not depend on their parents to take them to the library.”
Jeremy Harrison, Brittani’s husband, has been a woodworker in his free time for most of his life. He created the station for the library box in their yard in roughly six to eight hours of labor. According to the family, the station has been sitting in their yard for roughly a month. Jeremy said that he and his wife had gone camping a few months past. They saw a library station in front of a nature center at the camp location.
“I had never seen one before. The kids were so excited to see (the station),” Jeremy said. “I thought that was so cool and something that I wanted to replicate for someone else’s kids.”
Brittani said a lot of the books they had collected for the station were donations from friends. She said they will put whatever they can find in the station and that it was surprising at times the books that left and the books that stayed. Currently, the Harrison family’s station is mostly children’s stories. Brittani said the family does not try to discriminate, though, and welcomes all literature in the library.
“You never know what someone is going to like,” Brittani said.
According to freelittlelibrary.org, more than 32,000 library stations exist across all 50 states in the U.S. and in 70 countries worldwide.
According to the wife and husband duo, the libraries operate on an honor system. They hope to hear and see about more “free little libraries” as time goes on. Both are fans of different kinds of fiction. Jeremy likes his thrillers and mysteries. Brittani is a fan of science-fiction and historical fiction, although, she also admitted she loves a little bit of everything.
According to the family, they believe there is another library station in Huntington and possibly one in Meigs County.
For more information or ways to help with the library stations, visit www.freelittlelibrary.org.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.