LFL Arrenholz

Gregory Myers

Newton County Public Library Assistant Director Jennifer Arrenholz is shown with one of the 10 Littlle Free Libraries that will be placed in each township of Newton County.

NEWTON COUNTY — Using a grant from the Jasper Newton Foundation, a Little Free Library will be coming to each and every township in Newton County.

The grant application was a joint effort of all the library systems in the county – Newton County Public Library, Kentland, Goodland, and Brook.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, building communities, and sparking creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through Little Free Library book exchanges, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

“I don’t know where COVID-19 is headed, but a really big concern of mine is that when we were forced to close, we had patrons that were starving for content,” said Mary K. Emmrich, Newton County Public Library Director. “Little Free Libraries would be a way to still provide content even if we are closed.”

The libraries hope to have all 10 Little Free Libraries up and registered by the end of October.

“It will be free access to everyone,” added Emmrich. “For the six townships that have a public library (Jefferson, Grant, Beaver, Lake, Lincoln, and Iroquois), the Little Free Libraries will be placed on their property.”

Locations for the other four townships:

  • McClellan — The Nature Conservancy Headquarters
  • Jackson — Mt. Ayr Town Hall
  • Washington — Newton County Fairgrounds
  • Colfax — Fair Oaks Farms

“Each of the books will be stamped with “Always a gift, never for sale’ and because of the fun and ease of Little Free Libraries these books will travel,” added Emmrich. “Something that we learned during COVID-19 is that we all have a wonderful group of people that need or love print materials. The best part of this project for me is that it will get books to people of all ages. 2020 has been very challenging for libraries and this will provide a new pathway to provide materials to our patrons.”