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Move to create free book exchanges around county gains momentum

By BROOKE J. WOOD

brooke@southwesttimes.com

Many Pulaski Countians were heartbroken when native son Rex Gearheart passed on May 26, 2016. But the educator’s life has inspired a tiny library inside Randolph Park.

“He was our class president, everyone’s friend, literally. Everyone loved Rex. When we heard he had passed, we thought it would be fitting – considering he was class president and an educator – to put up something in conjunction with that,” explains Leslie Martin, who graduated from Pulaski County High School with Gearheart in 1989.

Martin says they originally hoped to dedicate a bench but, after donations were double what was expected, they decided to do more. “So much money started coming in, we decided to add a Free Little Library and trees.”

Martin points out that these small libraries – a book exchange inviting people to both take and share books – are part of a growing trend across the United States. According to the Little Free Library’s webpage, as of November 2016, there were more than 50,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges spread among 50 U.S. states and more than 70 countries around the world.

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