GREENFIELD TOWNSHIP - Take a book, leave a book. That is the singularly simple rule to use the area’s newest library. Housed in a brightly painted red box roughly 2’ square, it requires no library card, is open 24 hours a day, and is part of a global phenomenon. The Greenfield Township Historical Society (GTHS) opened its own Little Free Library under Charter No. 84269 on June 1.

“Too few people – especially kids – want to read a book these days,” said GTHS member AnnMarie Warren. “Only a few residents supported the local book mobile. Books are important. Some say a good book is a treasure.”

“The GTHS wanted to do a community project with some of our funds,” added Pat Bednarski, another GTHS member. “AnnMarie knew about these little libraries. So, we did some research, found the costs were minimal, and had volunteers who designed and built a Little Free Library of our own. Before long, we’d collected dozens of books from flea markets, rummage sales, and residents who also loved the idea.”

According to its website, the first Little Free Library was inspired by a micro-library movement in Oregon; the first such small-box library was built in 2009 and resembled a miniature one-room schoolhouse on a post. Today, the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization aims to inspire a love of reading, build community, and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. More than 84,000 such libraries stand proudly in 88 countries, with millions of books exchanged annually.

“Everyone’s invited for refreshments and to help christen our own Little Free Library,” said Warren who shares its stewardship with Bednarski. “Our Little Free Library doesn’t just belong to us, it belongs to the whole township. It’s our hope that it will bring more joy, a little more connection, and a whole lot more books to our community.”