A Little Free Library in OTR

A Little Free Library in OTR

by Justin Jeffre
The new little free library Photo: Angela Ginty

A Little Free Library has been installed in the park at the corner of 13th and Republic. On Thursday, June 23 there was a grand opening. “Over the 2-hour event, we had about 75 people of all ages stop by. We gave away 200 popsicles and a lot of books. We also had a table where kids could decorate their own bookmarks. A caricature artist (Caricatures by Duff – www.duffo.com) was busy the entire time drawing pictures of kids who stopped by the library,” said Angela Ginty.

Ginty is a Communications and Development Officer with the Cincinnati Development Fund which sponsored the Library. The park is owned by Over-the-Rhine Community Housing and they’ve granted permission to keep it there. “Since the library opened, it’s become a popular spot for kids and adults. People have stopped by every day and taken a book or two. We’ve also had several books donated, and we’re very grateful for those,” said Ginty.

Girl using the new little free library Photo: Angela Ginty
Girl using the new little free library Photo: Angela Ginty

According to Ginty many neighbors are acting as “stewards” of the library – keeping it clean and stocked with books. “We invite everyone to be a steward of the library because it’s a community resource for and by the residents of Over-the-Rhine. Tender Mercies residents help take care of the books, and Future Leaders OTR have expressed an interest in getting involved as,” she said.

Like all Little Free Libraries, the OTR library runs on book donations. If anyone has books to donate, they can leave them in the library structure (if there’s room) or drop them off at Cincinnati Development Fund’s office (right around the corner at 1224 Race Street) any day during office hours (8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.). The primary focus is books for children and young adults, but a full range of books will be available for readers of every age and interest.

According to Ginty this library is a tribute to Catherine Stehlin, a long-time resident and champion of OTR who lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis earlier this year. A family garden has also been installed in the corner of the park (Catherine’s corner).