Little Free Library

Photo taken by John Phelan

Little Free Libraries is a non-profit movement throughout the world that offers free books housed in small containers to members of a local community. The idea for Little Free Libraies began with a gentleman named Todd Bol from Hudson, Wisconsin as a tribute to his mother, avid book lover and teacher. Todd built a small wooden house mounted on a post, filled it with books and placed it near the sidewalk in his yard. A sign on the library read, “Take a book, leave a book” – and people did. The word spread quickly of this amazing little library, and there are over 200 LFL in 34 states and 17 countries.

Plainfield, IN will be adding its name to that growing list of Little Free Libraries in the spring of 2013. The Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library received a grant as well as memorial donations to purchase 4 Little Free Libraries for the town of Plainfield. The purpose behind providing these libraries is to help promote the love of reading throughout the Plainfield community. Locations for the libraries are still to be determined, but the hope is to locate them along the Plainfield trail system, near parks and residential areas. Inside the libraries will be books donated by the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library, Friends of the Library, Barnes & Noble, memorial donations and of course, local residents who take a book and leave a book.

The library will host programs for residents to help decorate the Little Free Libraries in early 2013. One of the libraries will be a memorial library to honor Susan Miller Carter, who worked at the Plainfield library for over 30 years as the manager of the Local History department. Susan loved the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library, as well as the town itself, and made a lasting impression while she was here. When she passed away in 2009 a memorial fund was created to honor her. Susan’s family feels she would have loved the Little Free Libraries concept, and so at this time the funds will be used to help support the program. Susan loved Plainfield, reading, and sharing, and the library’s new Little Free Library system expresses those things appropriately.

Take a look at the slideshow below to see our first Little Free Library, constructed by our very own Tim McClelland and his brother Scott. Stay tuned for more information on how you can take part in the Little Free Library movement this spring.

Tim’s Top 10 Banned Books

Banned Books Week: 9/30 through 10/6

This week marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week across the country. Libraries, Bookstores, Journalists, and Book Lovers all join together to celebrate the freedom to read whatever you want! Did you know that there have been over 10,000 challenges to books since 1990? On average, that’s about 500 challenges a year to books in libraries and schools! Surprisingly, the Harry Potter series has been near the top of the list of the most challenged books in the country since it was released.

Books can be challenged for many reasons, including sexual content, offensive language, violence, or occult themes (what Harry Potter is normally accused of). Librarians feel that open access to books and knowledge is an integral part of any open society. You may not agree with the message or the content of a book, but that does not mean the book should be banned. We all have the freedom to read what we want, but we also have the freedom to NOT read what we don’t agree with or what doesn’t appeal to our taste.

Here are my Top 10 favorite Banned Books:

10. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
9. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
8. The Giver by Lois Lowry
7. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
6. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
5. 1984 by George Orwell
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
1. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

All of these books have been challenged over the past twenty years in this country. As you can see, any book can be challenged at any point, whether it is a classic or even a famous children’s title. Any reading list without Banned Books is not only missing out on some great literature, but is missing out on the opportunity to understand the different cultures, people, and the world around us. Celebrate the freedom to read this week and pick up your favorite Banned Book or try a new one from my list.

We want to know what your favorite Banned Books are! Leave a comment below.


‘The Walking Dead’ are coming…

By now you’ve heard the Mayans predicted that the world is coming to an end in 2012. Experts and prognosticators will try and explain what exactly will happen and what the world will look like afterwards. But fans of The Walking Dead already know exactly what the end looks like; a Zombie Apocalypse! Whether you are a fan of the original Graphic Novels or of the hit TV show, the apocalypse has never been so exciting.

Imagine waking up in the hospital. You have no idea why you are there. You gather your strength to call for help, but no one comes. Eventually you make it to your feet and unhook yourself from all the medical equipment. The hospital is abandoned. From the looks of it, it’s been empty for quite some time. You make your way down to the cafeteria which appears to contain some life. You pry open the double doors and are instantly met by the terrible sight and smell of a room full of zombies! You stumble backwards. Unfortunately every zombie in the room has smelled your presence and would enjoy eating your delicious flesh. Fortunately for you, the undead are not very agile and you burst out of the hospital and into the brisk fall air and safety.

Your relief quickly turns to despair as you take in the world around you. What has happened? This is your town, but where are all the people? Why are all the cars abandoned and most of the windows broken? You must find your family. You scramble home, avoiding the lurking zombies. Your family is not there. You just know they are alive. You can sense it. But where can they be? How do you even begin to look for them?

Ahead of the Season Three premiere of the TV series, the library is hosting a party on October 11th to celebrate all things ‘Walking Dead.’ Stop by to check out the latest graphic novels in the series, meet other fans, and test your knowledge of the show. There will also be themed prizes for the trivia winners and a raffle for ‘Walking Dead’ action figures.

All are welcome to join us for this special event, whether you are a super fan or just getting started watching Season One. If you haven’t started, time is running out. The zombies are coming! Check out the website if you would like more information or have any questions.

Thursday, October 11th 7-8:30 pm
Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library
1120 Stafford Road