Coweta’s Habitat for Humanity chapter is well-known for doing big things in the community, and their latest project is no exception, though creating the county’s largest Little Free Library wasn’t exactly intentional.
“We wanted to create something that really exemplified Habitat for Humanity,” explained Newnan Coweta Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Cristina Bowerman. “And, of course, we wanted it to resemble a house.”
The home-inspired library, once completed, will measure approximately 91 inches in height, 74 inches in width and 22 inches in depth, making it the largest in Coweta and wholly reinterpreting the idea of what a Little Free Library could be.
The idea for the project came from Bowerman, who participated in Leadership Coweta, a program founded and sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. Bowerman explained that, in the leadership class she attended, her group was challenged to plan a task that could be completed in a relatively short period of time.
“The chamber charged the class with coming up with a project that would have a beginning, middle and end and would be completed in May,” Bowerman said, noting that the leadership class was offered in late 2016, giving the group around seven months to create and finish an approved idea.
“As a class, we focused on several Little Free Libraries that would be created in the county,” Bowerman said. She loved the idea so much that she wanted her own business partners to join in the fun – seperate from the leadership project.
The local Habitat director said, though her leadership class members were aware that the Coweta chapter of Habitat for Humanity would also build a library, the Habitat build would not be counted as part of the class’ mission.
“I just really wanted Habitat to participate,” Bowerman said. “I’m an avid reader and always have been, and I love the whole idea of Little Free Libraries. They have the most amazing little library projects all across the U.S. and across the world.”
The Habitat for Humanity library was created using all refurbished and gently used or recycled materials like those items available through the nonprofit’s retail outlet, Restore.
“Our volunteers really got into it.” Bowerman said. The project was completed in around one month. “We had no idea we were building the biggest Little Free Library in Coweta.”
Because Habitat for Humanity is relocating its Newnan Restore, the organization agreed to gift the library to the Coweta County Department of Family and Children’s Services, located at 533 Highway 29 N. in Newnan.
“We are truly excited to be partnering with DFCS, as the library will give children books while waiting for services,” Bowerman said in a recent statement.
The gift comes just on the heels of several additional tasks with which Habitat has assisted in an effort to help beautify the DFCS offices and surrounding lot. Other projects included painting offices and planting new flower beds with the help of Coweta Girl Scouts and the local Iron Fist chapter of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club.
The library is so big – and special – that its reveal will include a “Little Free Ribbon Cutting.” The public is welcomed to attend the ceremony on July 14 at 12 noon.
The unveiling will also include a look at recent changes to Newnan’s DFCS building and adjoining playground. A new and inviting playground was completed for families to enjoy during supervised visits with children and other meetings at the Newnan offices, thanks to an outpouring of support from the community.
The Chamber-led Leadership Coweta Class Bowerman was inspired by created three separate Little Free Libraries within the span of seven months’ time. Those libraries, sponsored by local businesses, can be found at the following locations:
- First Avenue Park, Newnan, sponsored by Keep Newnan Beautiful
- Boys & Girls Club of Newnan, sponsored by Oldcastle Precast
- Seavy Street Park, Senoia, sponsored by The Optimist Club
- Habitat builds largest local ‘Little Free Library’