Another Little Library Graces Armory Park

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ATHENS, Ohio — The Athens County Democratic Party held a ceremony to celebrate the completion of its latest service project in Armory Park.

The site is now home to a Little Free Library, a common model of neighborhood book exchanges that has spread across the country over the past decade. Janalee Stock, head of service opportunities for the party, was inspired by a book detailing the history of the libraries. 

“And I thought how could you write a whole book about a little free library, and it was fascinating. It was a page-turner, and I thought by golly we gotta get one up here at the armory,” Stock said.

A New Place to Read

Armory Park is the location of the newest Little Library. The part is next to the armory at the intersection of Court and Carpenter Streets. Photo by Rhyann Green





Several members of the party spoke to the crowd on Oct. 11, including Mayor Steve Patterson and the chair of the party John Haseley. Stock’s fellow members commended her work on the project. Stock said she hopes the new addition will foster new discussions and relationships in the community.

“Folks that are just sitting around, here at the park, can pull out a book and realize they’ve never read that book and become engaged with [the] library. A lot of good conversations happen around a Little Free Library,” she said.

Each person in attendance selected a book from an existing bookshelf in the park and transferred it into the new library. The remaining books were donated.

Stock said she chose the location to be more accessible to those who do not own a car and may be unable to walk to the Athens public library on East State Street.

Not the First of its Kind for Athens

North Congress St. Little Library rests in child’s wagon. Photo by Rhyann Green

The reception marks the fifth registered Little Free Library in Athens. Other locations include East Elementary School, Dalton Avenue, North Congress St., and Ohio Avenue. There are currently over 90,000 established libraries across the country. 

Beth Clodfelter, said she already knew some of the connections that other Little Free Libraries in Athens have facilitated in neighborhoods across the city.

“And it just makes me so happy to see, you know those little girls reading and sharing and probably talking to each other about books maybe and I can just imagine them putting little notes in those books for each other,” she said.

The Athens Armory is currently being used for storage. The park next door was created in March during Placemaking Week.