Community members and visitors to Platteville may notice Little Free Libraries popping up in parks, along trails, and in private lawns.
Little Free Libraries are small containers that house books. The international movement, which started in Hudson in 2009, has grown to 16,000 lending libraries in 55 countries with the premise, “take a book, leave a book.”
Platteville’s Little Free Libraries are a product of collaboration among several local organizations and community volunteers. The Hidden Valley Reading Council, a local chapter of the Wisconsin State Reading Organization, sponsored the first Little Free Library in Platteville as a service project to promote the enjoyment of reading.
Lindsay Hollingsworth, co-president of the organization, recruited her father, Ron Weier, and uncle, Bob Weier, to build the first library. This library was placed in Katie’s Garden in May, 2013 with permission from the Platteville Chamber of Commerce.
Two more Little Free Libraries were constructed by Leon Neuheisel, a member of the Platteville Optimists who heard of the projects through a presentation to the group. One is placed along the bike path on Water Street and another at the corner of Union and Perry, near Westview park.
According to the Little Free Library website, most Little Free Libraries are on private land as it can be difficult to gain permission to place them on public land. However, the Platteville Parks and Recreation Committee and Platteville Common Council have supported the project by writing policy for the placement of Little Free Libraries in Platteville parks.
Patrons to the Little Free Libraries are invited to “take a book, and leave a book.” Books for the libraries have also been donated by members of Hidden Valley, The Platteville Thrift Shop, and the Platteville Public Library.
The Hidden Valley Reading Council is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from the Margaret S. Keizer Charitable Fund, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, Inc. to support Little Free Libraries for Platteville Parks.
The Margaret S. Keizer Charitable Fund is a resource for area nonprofit organizations whose programs and services are working for the betterment of our communities.
Grants from the fund have supported the arts, education, environment, health and human services and historic preservation. The grant will be used for to purchase materials for two more Little Free Libraries in Platteville parks.