LAUREL HILL — After its organizers raised more than $150, the town's second Little Free Library is nearing completion and, upon City Council approval, will join the first one in front of City Hall.
The new one is aimed at a more select clientele: Laurel Hill's younger readers.
“The first one has been so successful we wanted to put one up for children,” said Tracy Curenton, who with her neighbor Janet Twitty are the driving forces behind both libraries.
Curenton has seen the success of Little Free libraries as president of the North Okaloosa Historical Association, which erected two such libraries — one for adults and one for kids — at the Baker Block Museum.
As a former Laurel Hill School librarian, Twitty also shares a love of books and reading.
Both women “primed” the first Little Free Library with books from their own collections.
After the first library box was erected in front of Laurel Hill City Hall last fall, the women received overwhelmingly positive feedback from residents.
“We have had people tell us they were going to get a movie from the Red Box (a DVD rental machine) but decided they would rather read a book, so they went down the street to the Little Free Library,” Curenton said. “That’s kinda cool.”
Like Little Free libraries all over the world, if a borrower likes a book, they are free to keep it, return it or replace it with a book of their own. The current box is stuffed with books from a variety of genres and reading levels.
Realizing a second library box devoted to children’s books was needed, the organizers raised more than $150 at a book sale during the Laurel Hill Arts and Heritage Festival.
The money mostly went to purchasing materials to construct the second library box. Mark Curenton, the family’s master woodworker and a regional historian, volunteered to build the library box, just as he did for the first one.
Twitty and Curenton hope to have the children’s Little Free Library ready and stocked by the end of June.