By Andria Barrios
The joy of reading seems to have recently faded in our society as a result of all of the latest modern technology. One outreach seeks to revive this joy. Free Little Library, located at South Bay Community Church, is merely an oversized birdhouse with a protective door on a flagpole, but it is also much more. “People can stop by anytime. If they find a book they like, they are free to take it,” explained its owner, Misty Sherwood. “Always a gift; never for sale” is the motto.
Sherwood, active community member and Chairman at the Sun City Center Community Campaign Against Human Trafficking, was first inspired to start this book drive after seeing her grandmother enjoy one very much like it in her hometown. “I saw such joy in her from such a simple gesture, that I immediately started to research this for my community here in South Bay,” Sherwood explained.
She first decided to make South Bay Community Church the home of her Free Little Library because it is a public location with a growing church and a children’s academy on site. Next to the pole that holds the little library is a cozy bench ideal for walkers, school groups, and readers of all ages.
This Free Little Library began only two months ago and was bought by the Brenda Bell Carter Foundation (BBCF), run by Sherwood’s mother. This charitable organization engages in many worthy causes, such as providing for the homeless, feeding and clothing needy children and supporting families in desperate situations. A Free Little Library owned by this foundation is also located in Nassau County, Florida, the home base of BBCF.
“My main objective is making our community aware,” said Sherwood. Donations of books of all kinds, for all ages, are readily accepted. “All we ask is that the community be mindful and respectful by keeping the books tasteful and appropriate for anyone that may happen upon our library,” encourages Sherwood. Though owned by a Christian, Bible-believing organization, books of the Christian genre are not mandatory. Books are monitored and anything deemed inappropriate will simply be removed.
This Free Little Library is located at South Bay Community Church, 13498 U.S. 301. The Church can be reached at 677-0721.