Great Parks of Hamilton County installs Little Free Libraries

Great Parks of Hamilton County and the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati have installed Little Free Libraries throughout Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve, Glenwood Gardens, Sharon Woods, Miami Whitewater Forest, and Woodland Mound.


Unveiled in December 2018, the Little Free Libraries offer more opportunities to learn about the parks themselves and compliment the park’s mission to educate visitors. This take a book, leave a book system includes books for all ages about plants, animals, and the environment.


“Great Parks continues to offer the best outdoor educational experience anywhere, so we’re excited about the additional learning opportunities made possible with Little Free Libraries,” says Great Parks CEO Jack Sutton. “The books in these small libraries enhance our mission to provide education that serves to protect our natural resources.”


The parks offer a slew of educational programs, including daily activities led by nature interpreters and certified staff to encourage exploration of the natural world.


“When we decided to grow the presence of Little Free Libraries in Greater Cincinnati, we wanted to be sure the libraries were in places where children and families already gather,” said Michelle Otten Guenther, president of the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati. “Tens of thousands of children and families visit Great Parks each year, which is why they are an ideal partner for this project."

Multiple Little Free Libraries will be placed throughout the parks.

The Little Free Libraries are small, Amish-made wooden boxes placed a few feet off the ground. Little Free Library is a nonprofit that has supplied more than 75,000 boxes across the country.


The books are supplied by the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati (LNGC) and through donations.


In 2018, the LNGC was given an anonymous grant, which was used to purchase and maintain 50 Little Free Libraries.


The LNGC began installing libraries in low-income areas and places where families already naturally gather to allow easy access to the books. The LNGC placed the first few in the West End and then reached out to Great Parks of Hamilton County to collaborate more locations.


Park goers are invited to donate, read, and share. Any books are accepted: volunteers will maintain the volume and quality of the books


The libraries may be moved around but will remain in the parks as long as they are used.


For a list of locations, visit https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap or http://www.lngc.org/little-free-libraries.

Read more articles by Emily Dillingham.

Emily Dillingham is a Cincinnati native and University of Cincinnati graduate with degrees in English and Geology. She writes full-time for a local material science company and lives in Brighton with her husband and pack of dogs. Follow her on Instagram @keeperoftheplants
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