Strattanville woman plans 'Little Free Library'

This "Little Free Library" can be found at the Rail 66 Country Trail base in Paint Township. The little box libraries operate under a "take a book, leave a book" philosophy. Betty Bessetti of Strattanville plans to establish a Little Free Library in the borough park there.

STRATTANVILLE - Betty Bessetti wants to build and maintain a "Little Free Library" in Strattanville and borough council OK'ed the project at its Oct. 9 meeting.

According to its website. Little Free Library is "a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks 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."

Little Free Libraries are registered with the national and international organization and receive "charter numbers." A steward is assigned to each Little Free Library.

According to the Little Free Library website, there are official Little Free Libraries in Clarion, Knox, St. Petersburg, Foxburg, New Bethlehem, Rimersburg, Limestone and Shippenville among others.

Bessetti told Strattanville council members the program is "basically, take a book, leave a book."

The Little Free Library will be located in the Strattanville Public Park.

Bessetti said she will serve as the library's steward and pay the registration fee from her own pocket while her husband Rick will design and construct the little library shelter.

Bessetti said she is researching various sources to obtain books, grants and needed materials. There will be no cost to the borough.

Bessetti said she asked for the park location because there are already benches at the location and it is a relaxing area of the borough.

Bessetti said she hopes to fill the little library with a mix of books for children and adults.

Council unanimously approved the park location.

Bessetti said installation of the Little Free Library will likely take place in the spring of 2020.

About 'Little Free Library'

According to the Little Free Library website, there are more than 80,000 registered Little Free Library book-exchange boxes worldwide, and behind each one is a volunteer steward -- the individual who champions the library.

The volunteer steward network is made up of passionate readers and community advocates.

Through its "take a book, share a book" philosophy, millions of books are exchanged each year at Little Free Libraries, profoundly increasing book access for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

At the same time, countless connections are made through Little Free Library network.

The Little Free Library organization has been awarded recognition from the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation, the Book Industry Study Group, the Women's National Book Association, and others, and has received the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency.