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Little library promotes literacy, sense of community

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LAWTON, Okla._ Take a book; return a book. That’s the idea behind a pint-sized community library that has popped up in Lawton.

The small catalog at the Little Free Library at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, NW 38th Street, is working to revive a sense of community and interest in reading. The library could be mistaken for a birdhouse, but there are between 20-30 books inside.

"From self-help, to parent skills, to books for young children…” says Linda Hillard, director of Holy Cross Learning Center. “We call it the free library.”

Those who take advantage of the book exchange can forget their library cards. There’s no money exchange. All people have to do is replace a book you take with a new book.

“The books change on a weekly basis,” says Hillard.

The learning center installed the Little Free Library in spring 2013 and joined a movement to promote literacy in communities across the nation.

"Our goal is to get families reading together and to bring the community together,” says Hillard.

It’s a new trend in book borrowing that’s much smaller than a traditional brick and mortar location. The Little Free Library concept started in Wisconsin in 2012 and spread from there. There are now nine locations in Oklahoma and more than 15,000 nationwide.

“The best part about the library for me is seeing that parents are taking books and hopefully they are reading to their children, because that's so important,” says Hillard.

The Little Free Library is located at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, which is located at 2105 NW 38th Street, Lawton.

There are also two locations in Duncan. For more information on those locations, and for information on how to start your own Little Free Library visit the Little Free Library online.

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