Not too big, not too little, just right!

in Community by
Mark and Terri Stokes at the opening of their Little Free Library exchange stand.
Mark and Terri Stokes at the opening of their Little Free Library exchange stand.

To honor her lifelong interest in reading, Mark Stokes, made his wife Terri, a “Little Free Library” exchange stand for Mother’s Day this past May. Her job was to decorate it and stock it with books. Complete with a shell-covered roof, the free-standing library now houses books for swapping for both adults and children and is located at the edge of their property on Vaux Road in Broad River Bluff.

Born into a reading family, Terri is consumed by the idea of sharing her love of reading and making it available to all. When she heard about the “Little Free Library” program, she knew she needed to bring one to Beaufort. Terri is well aware of the staggering statistics that tell the story of South Carolina illiteracy and non-existent opportunities for children to read outside of school. Terri reports there is a Little Free Library in Port Royal and on the Spanish Moss Trail. She hopes others will be inspired to put one in their neighborhoods and into areas where there is a need for access to books.

How did it all start? The Little Free Library movement began in 2009 with inspiration from free book exchanges found in coffee shops and public spaces. Early models were built with recycled materials, each unique – with a shared theme of exchanging books and bringing people together for the love of reading. The main idea is “Take a book, leave a book.” As of January 2015, there are over 25,000 registered Little Free Libraries, worldwide.