PLAINFIELD — The first Little Free Library was installed this week in Plainfield with the help of Duke Energy.
The libraries are essentially boxes where the community can exchange books for free. Individuals can take and leave books of their choosing. The staff at the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library will be stocking the boxes with free books that have been donated by the Friends of the Library, as well as the local Barnes & Noble book store.
Duke Energy donated $6,000 toward the project — $5,000 to build the boxes and $1,000 to purchase new books for the project.
The company’s president of Indiana’s operations, Doug Esamann, ceremoniously installed the first Little Free Library in the Duke Energy Garden which can be found near the Plainfield Parks and Recreation Department’s pedestrian bridge. The garden is near U.S. 40, next to the Dairy Queen.
“We try to do what we can to support the community,” Esamann said. “Education is also a main focus for our foundation. This was a great project to be involved in.”
Joanna Carter, the library’s PR and outreach associate, has worked on the project since its inception. She had gone to the Town of Plainfield and asked if the council would allow the structures to be placed around the community.
“Renea Whicker (town council member) asked me if I had talked to Steve Bahr from Duke Energy about the project,” Carter said. “She got us connected and I wrote a grant to the Duke Energy Foundation.”
A group of Duke Energy employees volunteered to help build the boxes. The plan is to install 20 Little Free Libraries at various sites around Plainfield, including areas that do not have direct access to the library. The libraries will be decorated by the Hendricks County Arts Council.
The project is designed to help cultivate the love of reading and lifelong learning within the community. The library staff will also keep information on how to get a library card in the boxes for those who stop and pick up a book.
Anyone who cares to donate to the Little Free Libraries may drop books off at the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library at 1120 Stafford Road, Plainfield.