Grand Opening for Pines Lakes ‘Little Free Library’ set for Saturday

One neighbor ‘thought it was a large birdhouse’

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

“If you build it, they will build more.”

It’s not quite the phrase from W.P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe, but it’s with that spirit that Dale and Susan Furr have brought the first Little Free Library to Richmond County.

A Grand Opening is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at 137 Fairway Drive in the Pine Lakes subdivision, located along U.S. Route 1 North. Susan Furr said the small library will hopefully be the first of many in Richmond County.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Dale and Susan Furr have joined the Little Free Library network with structure No. 16304 on Fairway Drive in Pine Lakes, Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Dale and Susan Furr have joined the Little Free Library network with structure No. 16304 on Fairway Drive in Pine Lakes, Rockingham.

The idea is to promote literacy and the love of reading, of which Furr has.

“I read all the time,” said Furr, noting her favorite reads include the Bible and other books and commentaries about the word of God, “and maybe some history.”

Individuals can open the unlocked box, take a book — or put one in — at their leisure. There is no cost and no registration, Furr said. There are no overdue fees, either, because the books never have to be returned to any given location.

“They’re welcome to return it, or return a different book,” Furr said, “to help sort of keep it in stock. But there’s no restrictions … and the people don’t come to my door, they just help themselves.”

The library was built by Hamlet resident Rob McCullough, who dedicated the unit in memory of his father, Mack McCullough, “for the love of reading and of woodworking” as displayed on the side. The library was constructed most of recycled materials, with the walls left over from a bathroom remodeling project and roofing shingles from another project. The plexi-glass door also was leftover.

Word has traveled slowly — or as fast as Furr has been able to copy and distribute 150 flyers throughout her neighborhood.

There is no restriction on where a Little Free Library might be installed. The Furrs chose the side of the driveway; they can also be placed in coffee shops, in downtown areas and just about anywhere else so long as the landowner gives permission and the installation complies with local applicable ordinances.

The idea has put Pines Lakes and Richmond County on the map — literally. On the Little Free Library website, there is a map that shows the charter number of it and some 15,000 others around the world that appear along bike trails, near office buildings, schools, outside restaurants and more.

Furr said the library on Fairway Drive was inspired by an article read by her and her husband, on the same day a few hours apart, two years ago. They both reached the same conclusion, Susan Furr said: “This is a great idea.”

Little Free Library began in Wisconsin in 2009. After the idea began to take off, one goal was to match the number of traditional free public libraries promoted by Andrew Carnegie — 2,509. That seemed a tall order, but in today’s social media age, it didn’t take long. There are now an estimated 15,000 Little Free Library stands across the globe.

The Pines Lakes library will be open year-round so long the books aren’t adversely affected by inclement weather, Furr said.

The estimated 50 books currently in the library are largely left over from Furr’s days in Richmond County Schools. The retired schoolteacher said most every teacher buys books for their classrooms. Furr taught at L.J. Bell Elementary School, the former Richmond Primary School and Ellerbe Middle School. Her husband, Dale Furr, retired after 40 years in law enforcement, including 30 years in Richmond County with 16 years as sheriff.

Susan Furr said she’s hopeful others will be inspired to add to the Little Free Library network. The closest location is Monroe. For a one-time fee of $34.95 and the cost of materials, a creative steward can make their library stand apart from the crowd. Each official Little Free Library is assigned a number — the Furrs’ is 16304.

“The cutest one I saw on (the website) was one that they made the roof … painted it like it was an open book,” Furr said.

For questions, call Furr at 910-995-6773 or “just drive or walk by to check it out.”

 

Filed in: Education, Latest Headlines, News

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  • Pine Laker

    I would like to buy one to put in my front yard in Pine Lakes as well…I would like to know how to buy one and have the builder match my house color and roof as well….Can you help?

    • peedeepost

      I believe there is an online story through which you can buy them, but many people enjoy creating them.

      Be sure to check out the Little Free Library website, http://littlefreelibrary.org, for complete information.

      — Kevin

  • http://dknight4u@hotmail.com Deborah Knight

    I love this “Free Library” ! Since I work at Leath Library, I don’t care what or how people read I just want them to read! Reading is so important! All libraries In Richmond County are Free to residents of Richmond County!

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