Lake Norman & Mooresville

Cornelius Community Garden readies little free library

A dedication ceremony for a local Little Free Library will be held at June 1 at the Cornelius Community Garden.
A dedication ceremony for a local Little Free Library will be held at June 1 at the Cornelius Community Garden. TOWN OF CORNELIUS

Be a part of the dedication of the newest library in our area. At 5 p.m. June 1, come to 20708 Catawba Ave. in Cornelius and see and learn about the little free library at the Cornelius Community Garden.

A little free library is just what its name implies. It’s a small wooden box, on a post, and anyone can take, donate or return a book. The mission of the program is “to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide” and “to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.” For information, watch the video at

Also on the website are templates for book labels and bookplates if you plan to donate some books, as well as little free library boxes available for purchase if you’d like to start one of these library on your own. The box at the community garden is among several Little Free Libraries in town, including two at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church near the Antiquity neighborhood.

The idea for the little free library started in 2009 in Wisconsin, when Todd Bol built the first one in honor of his mother: a mini-one-room schoolhouse, as his mom was a teacher. Since his mom loved reading, Bol filled the mini-schoolhouse with books, set it on a post, and put it in his front yard with a sign the said “free books.” Bol built and gave away many more of these little libraries.

Rick Brooks, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, saw Bol’s do-it-yourself project and together, they began the little free library program. They originally planned to have 2,510 little free libraries and reached this goal in August 2012.

According to, by January of this year, the estimated number of registered little free libraries, in about 56 countries, was 25,000, with thousands more of these libraries being built. Each of these little libraries exchanges at least 25 books per month.

For the dedication event, there’s limited parking at the Cornelius Community Garden, but lots more parking is available down the street at Smithville Park, 19710 S. Ferry St.

The town sends a special thanks to the Inclusion Community and Smithville Community Coalition for their efforts in making this project happen.

Lisa Daidone is a freelance writer for Lake Norman News. Have a story idea for Lisa? Email her at