The Dothan Eagle Article from Jim Cook
Montana Magnet School’s Little Free Library isn’t just about reading; it also provides a great lesson about sharing with the community. The Little Free Library, a small receptacle where folks can pick up a book they’d like to read or leave a book they’d like to share with others, opened Friday outside the school. Jane Belsches, a teacher who helped organize the project, said the Little Free Library will help encourage a love of reading among students by allowing them to share their favorite books with one another. Belsches said the project also helps create more of a community atmosphere at Montana. Sue Clark, Montana principal, said the project is also helping to strengthen ties between the school and the neighborhood surrounding it. Clark said she visited homes near the school and explained the concept to local residents. “I had one person who was very excited about it because he said he was an avid reader,” she said. The Little Free Library is housed in a re-purposed Dothan Eagle newspaper rack. The rack was illustrated with characters from books by members of Dothan High School’s art club. “We brought it back to life. We painted book characters on the sides and put books in there for little kids to read,” said Elijah Sexton, president of Dothan High’s art club. “Any time we get to use our artistic skills to help others, we just do it.” Davis Bolton, a Montana student, said. “I think it’s great you can have a book any time for free. You don’t have to pay, you don’t have to wait, you just get it.” The Little Free Library concept originated about seven years ago in Wisconsin after a man built a miniature version of a one-room schoolhouse to honor his mother, a teacher. Today, there are more than 15,000 Little Free Libraries around the world. The Dothan Houston County Library System provided assistance in the establishment of Montana Magnet School’s Little Free Library.