'Little Free Libraries' now available in Charleston


Thanks to a couple of resourceful teenagers, some guidance from cabinet-maker Danny Adams and the support of the Charleston Arts and Revitalization Effort and Mayor Sedrick Smith, Charleston is now the proud owner of two Little Free Libraries.

Little Free Libraries are a “take a book, leave a book” community exchange. They involve all the community. Residents may take a book to read, leave a book for others, or both! The more the community becomes involved with the project, the more the book selection will change and evolve.

Charleston teens Abbi Roark and Joel Williams were looking for a way to give back to their community. After seeing the Little Free Libraries in other towns, Abbi expressed interest in bringing one to Charleston.

As Abbi's mom, I knew there were books that had been donated to CARE years ago which could be shared with others.  What was needed now was someone with carpentry skills. That’s when Joel came on board. Joel was needing community service hours for school, where he is also known for his woodworking skills. Under the guidance of Danny Adams, Joel was not only able to construct one library, but two.

After construction of the pieces was completed, Abbi chose the colors and painted them. Finally the libraries were assembled and stocked. One now resides by the side door of the Charleston Arts Center (CARE building) and the other is placed in front of Charleston City Hall.

Joel and Abbi hope the community will enjoy the libraries and keep a variety of books, for all ages, rotating through them. To learn more about the Little Free Library project visit the website, www.littlefreelibrary.org. 

Carol Roark is executive director of the Charleston Arts and Revitalization Effort, also known as CARE.

IN THE PHOTO: Joel Williams (left) and Abbi Roark stand alongside one of the Little Free Libraries which they helped to build. This particular one is on the sidewalk near the side door of the Charleston Arts Center.  (Photo by Carol Roark)