Little Free Libraries are popping up all over the area, including (clockwise from top left) Azalea Coin Laundry Drycleaning on Princess Street
in Wilmington, Paula Lanier’s on N. Lumina Avenue in Wrightsville Beach, and at the New Hanover County Arboretum on Oleander Drive in
director. “They carry the good feelings of the library into a different
The Parks and Gardens Department provides the space and builds
the boxes, and the library keeps them stocked with public donations
to the library’s book sale.
Volunteers are in charge of restocking and maintaining the boxes. Smith,
the steward for the Smith Creek Park location, visits his once a week.
Smith joined the Library Advisory Board after retiring to Wilmington
four years ago, taking after his mother, who worked for a library. A fre-quent
visitor of Smith Creek Park, he eagerly volunteered to maintain
“To me, the public library is the lifeblood of a community, the clos-est
thing to a town square where everyone, regardless of age, race, or
socio-economic status, can come together,” he says. “I appreciate the
Little Free Libraries as it makes library resources accessible to people
who may not regularly visit brick-and-mortar libraries, and exposes
children to reading opportunities they might not otherwise get.”
Children are a main focus of this initiative. The collaboration aims to
aid education and promote literacy.
“By having reading material available in parks for children, this helps
children and families read together and encourages kids to read,”
Ideas to introduce more local boxes are already forming. Owens
says the library would like to get involved with the City of Wilmington
to expand the boxes’ presence to locations that would benefit from
increased access to reading materials.
“We exist to connect people and books and people and information,
and whatever shape that takes it’s always a good thing,” she says.