Free Little Library on Commerce Street

By: 
DONNA SUMMERALL
Staff Writer

Local artist Deborah Mansfield had heard about Free Little Libraries during her travels all over the United States. She liked the idea of having books available for everyone, even when the Bryan Public Library was closed.
"I wanted to start a Free Little Library, and I knew the perfect craftsman to build the box," Mansfield said. "I asked Monte Brasfield would he build the box if the Main Street Association provided the supplies."
Brasfield had no intention of the having the Mains Street Association pay for the box. Brasfield is well known for his one-of-a-kind birdhouses, so a box would not be that big of an undertaking.
"Phillips Hardware donated some of the supplies, we appreciate them," Mansfield said. "Monte built a wonderful box and I did the painting."

Mansfield has not had the opportunity to travel, as she normally does during the summer. So in addition to thinking of fundraising projects for the Black Prairie Blues Museum and the revitalization of Sally Kate Winters Park with the Main Street Association, she decided to put a Free Little Library on the corner of Commerce and Main Streets.

The Free Little Library on Commerce Street contains many books that people are urged to take and replace with a new book. Children's books, young adult novels, and books for grown people are welcome additions.

There is a Free Little Library at the Westside Veterinary Clinic, to meet the needs of those living in the county. It was erected in 2017, by Dr. Susan Hesse. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. This is especially true in rural areas.
Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.
Through Little Free Library book exchanges, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Mansfield has some ideas in the works for fundraisers for the Black Prairie Blues Museum, she is currently working on what will be a virtual fundraiser. Sally Kate Winters Park renovations were on the agenda before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all gatherings.
"Hopefully all of this will be over by next year," Mansfield said. "We need to on with our lives and doing what we can to make West Point a beautiful place to live."

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