Linda Grit dreamed of having a free library ever since she was first introduced to them. Six years ago, she made that dream a reality.
Her friend's daughter wanted to earn her Gold Award for Girl Scouts by creating free libraries. Linda mentored her through the project and ended up with her own little library. It came unpainted, so Linda, an elementary school librarian, held a reading contest at school and the two winners visited her home, painted her little library with her and enjoyed some ice cream at Housemans.
"They are now high school students and I haven't had the heart to repaint it... but that day is coming," Linda said.
Linda's library is located on 84th Street, a main road in Byron Center. In the early days, she had to beg people to take the books, but not anymore. It has been a lifeline for people during these COVID times. The library allows Linda to connect with her students and other community members, as they visit to borrow books and stock the library shelves.
"A lady stopped and asked my husband if she could leave us books from a loved one that had passed away," Linda said. "So much life in that little library."
Linda's favorite memory is peeking out her window and seeing a grandmother sitting in her yard reading a book to her grandchild. Linda has since added a bench next to the little library.
Linda's future plans include having her husband build a box and attach it to the side of the library post so the adult books and children's books can be kept separate and be reachable to those who use them.
"Free libraries are such a valuable part of a community and are a lovely way to partner with our public libraries," Linda said.
Kent District Library offers several Free Libraries throughout our service area. These mini-libraries typically house around 40 books each, including youth, teen and adult fiction and nonfiction materials. People are encouraged to take a book and leave a book.