Albert Einstein once said, “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”
Under a tree at the northeast corner of Royal Blue Grocery, visitors to Highland Park Village can locate a new Little Free Library, built in the Spanish and Mediterranean style used throughout the shopping center.
In the past several years, similar libraries have popped up across the country, often located in yards, shopping centers, and public lands to encourage reading and promote sharing in a community.
The basic idea: take a book, leave a book, according to littlefreelibrary.org.
On a recent afternoon at Highland Park Village, the buzz of activity around the library included college students sitting around studying, and parents making quick stops after picking their children up from school.
“We’ve seen some people using it – many of them young 7-10 year olds with their parents,” Zac Porter, owner of Royal Blue Grocery, said. “The number of books in the Little Free Library seems to grow by the week, too.”
Behind its unlocked glass door, the library held a children’s book, travel guide, cookbook, magazine, and a novel. Contents change as people borrow from or add to the collection.
“I loved the book I picked up from the Little Free Library,” Royal Blue Grocery employee Sarah Sharpe said. “I’m excited to explore new authors and donate my old reads.”
Officials with the Highland Park Harvey R. “Bum” Bright Library see the Little Free Library as another opportunity to encourage reading as well as a place residents can share books they hope others will enjoy reading.
“Town residents of all ages will benefit from the titles in the Village’s Little Free Library and have an opportunity to discover a new favorite read,” town librarian Kortney Nelson said.
Town administrator William Lindley added, “While our residents certainly know the location of the Highland Park Harvey R. “Bum” Bright Library, the next best experience is their visiting the Highland Park Village’s Little Free Library while enjoying a warm cup of coffee from Royal Blue Grocery and a delicious dessert from Bird Bakery.”