by Katie Ashcraft
The Campbell County Public Library held a kickoff event on April 17 at the Newport Branch to celebrate the release of 40 new little libraries that would be entering into surrounding communities. These specific libraries started as an idea for a local high school girl who wanted to spread her love of reading to the community.
Danielle Heiert, a 16 year old Campbell County student, was looking for a community service project to complete in order to obtain her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Heiert went to JC Morgan, Director of Campbell County Library, and together they began working towards expanding the little libraries in the communities.
During early March, there were 40 little libraries built and 20 of those were decorated and entered into a contest at the kickoff party. The artists that created the little libraries were awarded first and second place prizes of $50 and $25 gift cards. Each of the little libraries were entered into one of three categories: Book-Themed, Realistic, and Creative.
The panel of judges, who was led by Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery included: Bellevue Mayor Ed Riehl; Dayton City Council member Bill Burns; Fort Thomas City Council member John Muller; Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso; and Southgate Mayor Jim Hamberg. Winners of Friday’s kickoff event included:
Book-themed: Misty Voges in first place, and Amy Hartman in second place.
Realistic: Laura Pleiman in first place, and Catherine Hamilton Hicks in second place.
Creative: Kimberly Dillard in first place, and Jen Hazeres in second place.
All contestants did an amazing job displaying their creativity and making these Little Libraries unique in their own way. Each of them will house a variety of books that are available to all community members to “check out” as they are walking by. This project helps promote a desire for reading and makes books available in multiple areas.
All 40 of the little libraries are already spoken for, 12 went to Bellevue, another 12 went to Dayton, 11 will be located in Fort Thomas, and five will pop up in Newport. At this time registration for a pre-built Little Library is full, if anyone is interested in placing a little library on their property there is a design plan located on the Campbell County Public Library’s website. To get a starter set of books or to replenish any little libraries individuals can request a Little Library Book Bag which contains free books that have been donated.