Peters Township gets a Little Free Library

Published Jun 23, 2014 at 11:02 am (Updated Jun 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm)

On Old Washington Road, near the Valley Brook intersection, but thanks to the construction project, detoured a few extra miles, is a library. It's of modest size, holding nearly 40 books, and you don't need a library card to check them out. Rather, just your word, and another book to replace it with. It's not a branch of the Peters Township Public Library – it's one of the 10,000 world-wide Little Free Libraries that are popping up all over.

The book exchange concept originated back in 2009, after a Wisconsin man named Todd Bol decided to honor his late mother, a former school teacher and avid reader, by building the first Little Free Library. His friend, Rick Brooks joined the project, and their goal was to have 2,500 built, the same number of Libraries that Andrew Carnegie built. Fast forward to 2014, and there are more than 10,000 – and that number is growing every day.

It's growing so much, that Mark Mamros, whose own Little Free Library sits at 838 Old Washington Road, has to wait several weeks before his is placed on the map on the little free library's website, because they are so back-logged.

“I don't think anybody knows it's here yet, for a couple of reasons. One, we are kind of on a busy street and with the construction we're a cul-de-sac. Although, a lot of people walk past here on the way to the (Montour) trail,” Mamros said. “We did go through all the steps to officially register. I think once we are on the map, people will start coming by.”

According to the map on littlefreelibrary.org, there are 87 Little Free Libraries in Pennsylvania, and only two in Washington County – the one belonging to Mamros and one at 1245 Park Ave. in Washington.

The Mamros family, including Mark's wife, Rita, and two children – Lizzy, a rising senior at Peters Township High School; and Matt, who just completed his freshman year at Robert Morris University – all had a hand in the project. Lizzy will act as the “steward,” which is Little Free Library speak for “librarian.”

Mamros' Little Free Library boasts about 40 books of all age levels and genres, and the inventory will be in a constant state of flux as people use the library.

“I'm hoping that people will be aware of the movement. I think the goals are very noble – the sense of community and promoting reading,” Mamros said. “Those are very special ideals, and I'd like to see more Little Free Libraries pop up.”

Other area Little Free Libraries include 5300 Becky Drive in Baldwin and 34 Linda Drive in Dormont.

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