WHEN ESTO RESIDENT Lisbeth Kidd read an article about the Little Free Library movement — a drive to create book exchanges around the world — she knew she wanted to participate.
After all, she lives in a small community without a library, treasures books and has been a major promoter of children’s books among her circle of family and friends.
She enlisted the help of Jodi and Connie Moore, who are fellow members of Union Hill Baptist Church, where Kidd is music director. The Moores donated their time and labor to build the library, which is an impressive double-walled, weather-proof wooden box.
The little library — registered as charter number 12,475 in the Free Little Library movement — was officially opened with a gathering of neighbors and friends on August 9, 2014. A highlight of the opening was a time of reading stories to the children in attendance by Esto residents Betty Treadwell, a retired Holmes County assistant librarian, and television executive Ben Tew.
“One of the stated missions of the Little Free Library movement is to ‘foster a sense of community and connection as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations,'” says Kidd. “With my brother Gary Jacobs as my chauffeur, I gained a bit of that connection while spreading news of the library throughout our community, greeting old friends and meeting new folks who were excited about the library and donating books.”
She was especially moved by a neighbor whose grandson, battling health issues, loves dinosaurs.
“I came home and discovered a book filled with dinosaurs hiding behind moveable flaps that open to reveal a T-rex, pterodactyl and friends,” she says. “I can’t wait to deliver that one.”
The world’s newest Little Free Library is located in Lisbeth Kidd’s back yard on Fourth Avenue North in Esto.
Photographs by Sara Heijkoop
Read More: “The Low-Tech Appeal of Little Free Libraries”