WHITEHALL – The Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that works to inspire in people a love of reading and to build a community.
The non-profit does this through book boxes that can be installed on private or public property. There are three new library book boxes in the City of Whitehall.
The boxes are located at Whitehall City Hall, Goodrich Park, and The Playhouse at White Lake. What makes these Little Free Libraries unique is that they are all located on property owned by the City of Whitehall.
Former Whitehall Mayor Edd Whalen and his wife Lynn paid for the boxes. Edd Whalen said he and his wife got the idea to buy the libraries after attending a knitting conference at Amherst College in Maryland.
He said while attending the conference he noticed several book boxes located on the campus. He said he thought it was a great idea, and wanted to do something similar in Whitehall.
“I just thought it was a great idea, to volunteer for that purpose. There wasn’t any deep philosophical idea. We wanted to share it. We love the reading of books and wanted to share it,” said Edd Whalen.
Whalen said after he and his wife decided they wanted to pay for the book boxes they went to the City of Whitehall for permission.
After getting the approval, city council member Virginia DeMumbrum worked with the Whalens on picking out the boxes. DeMumbrum works as the director of the White Lake Community Library.
“My wife and I decided we were going to try to support more literacy. I went to the city council and got permission from them to put on city property three of those lending libraries. So we bought them, and the city DPW people installed them,” said Edd Whalen.
To help get things started with the new book boxes the Whalens decided to use part of their own book collection to seed them.
“Because they are brand new boxes I took some books from our shelves and put them in there. We are culling, and put them in there. I am not donating my library to them, I am simply seeding the library boxes with stuff,” said Edd Whalen.
Whalen said he enjoys reading history, humor, books by author Rick Riordian and the Harry Potter series. Lynn Whalen said she enjoys reading science fiction, mysteries and knitting books.
“I am a sociologist by training, and I like the type of science fiction that explores alternative lifestyles from a sociological point of view,” said Lynn Whalen.
For more information about Little Free Libraries visit: https://littlefreelibrary.org.