COLUMBUS -- A library could be coming to your neighborhood.
Granted, it won’t be your typical building filled with books.
In fact, these Little Free Libraries are not much bigger than a mailbox, but they are created to promote and share a love of reading.
Little Free Libraries are popping up across the nation, and Columbus will have one of its own next month thanks to a grant given to the Columbus Area United Way.
“The little libraries are little structures that almost look like big mailboxes. We fill them with books and put them in different neighborhoods,” said Denise Kollath, program coordinator with the United Way.
People are welcome to take a book for free from the Little Free Library and return it when they are done.
The first library will be installed by the Heritage House, 2554 40th Ave., in mid- to late July. The structure was ordered, is made of all recycled material and resembles a small house.
Kollath said the Heritage House neighborhood was chosen because of the opportunity to serve a variety of people, particularly seniors and children.
Hopes are to add at least one more library in town at another time, with the possibility of more in the future.
Each Little Free Library holds 30-40 books. To fill up the first one, a book drive is currently under way. Drop off boxes for donated books are at the Columbus Family Resource Center, Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and Eakes Office Plus.
“We would like to have kids’ books and any books that seniors would like to read. Really, if it is a book that you had in your house that you enjoyed, someone else would probably enjoy them, too,” Kollath said.
The library will work on an honor system. Aside from books, there also will be pamphlets available about programs at Columbus Public Library and information about how to obtain a library card.
Kollath said she hopes the Little Free Libraries will get people reading.
“I think it will be popular in the summer. We really want them to grab a book and just enjoy having a book in their hands,” Kollath said.