To help promote literacy and the love of reading in the community, Teresa Ankrom and the City of Circleville have become stewards of the Little Free Library located at Mary Virginia Crites Hannan Park near the playground.
The Little Free Library is stocked with books for all ages donated by community members. Anyone can stop by the library and take a book.
With the appearance of little fingerprints on the glass door and books disappearing, Ankrom said she knows the Little Free Library is getting used.
“It warms my heart when I see a kid checking out the books,” she said.
Ankrom got the idea to put the library in the park after she took her granddaughter to a neighborhood park in Worthington where they came across a Little Free Library by the playground. She thought it could be done in Circleville and, with a team of people, the site was established.
It started with getting approval to install the library from the Friends of the City Parks. Ralph Ankrom designed and built the library and Teresa said he made it with the highest quality construction standards and it is built to last.
The Circleville Department of Public Service, especially Jay Nichols and Chris Cupp, designed and installed the base of the library with a unique sliding mount so the box can be taken off for maintenance and repairs.
Becky Staresina, parks and recreation director, helped to organize the establishment of the library. Katherine Robb, Pickaway County Literacy Council, made the initial donation of books.
Monica Gans, a senior at Circleville High School, and her father, Tom Gans, designed and painted the artwork on the library.
Monica said the artwork painted on the library came about after she and her father decided to go with the theme of “It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” They wanted to add a touch of Circleville to it and did so by painting the original layout of Circleville in the clouds and painting Winkie, the official logo of Pumpkin Show, on the back of it.
“It took two days to paint and it was a lot of fun,” Monica said.
Circleville Public Service Director John Ankrom said the location of the library is convenient and a lot of people pass through the area. He said it would be nice to have one in every park and hopefully this is just the start of more of the sites showing up around the community.
The Little Free Library at Mary Virginia Crites Hannan Park joins the more than 32,000 Little Free Libraries in the world. It will soon be receiving its official sign, charter number and GPS marker making the library known on the world map at www.littlefreelibrary.org.
Little Free Library was started six years ago when the first one was built by Tod Bol in Wisconsin, who built a model of a one-room schoolhouse and put it in his front yard. Now, Little Free Libraries are found in all 50 states and over 70 countries worldwide.