Woodfin Library Trail
Make plans for a trek along the Town of Woodfin’s new Library Trail a project of the Woodfin Parks and Recreation Department.
The Board of Aldermen are pleased to announce the addition of a new way for citizens to interact, engage and explore their community – the Woodfin Library Trail. Our Library Trail is a network of small, free lending libraries placed around Town. The objective of this project is simple – provide citizens with access to books regardless of their ability to get to one of Buncombe County’s public libraries.
"Children have to have access to books, and a lot of children can't go to a store and buy a book." - Katherine Paterson
Lending libraries are part of the American experience and landscape. In the United States, the first “public library” was started by the renowned inventor, author and founding father Benjamin Franklin. A group of engaged citizens – including Franklin- established a “club of mutual improvement” to discuss philosophy and politics. Eventually, the mutual improvement club evolved from tavern discussions to the establishment of America’s first public library. The initial investors each contributed 40 shillings with 10 shillings per year every year thereafter. (While it is impossible to truly translate this amount from the 1700s to modern currency different calculations pin the sum between hundreds and thousands of dollars.) Members of the library could borrow books for free but members of the public were able to borrow them as well provided they offered collateral in case the book was not returned.
"With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one - but no one at all - can tell you what to read and when and how." - Doris Lessing
Flash forward to our present era, and despite the rise of the internet and digital books, there are more than 119,000 libraries in the United States alone. The immense value of our library system cannot be overstated in the success of both the United States and the lives of countless Americans from all walks of life. Despite their importance, libraries are only as good as our access to them. A book on a shelf is worthless without someone to read it. In the awareness that not all of our citizens have an easy time traveling to the local library, the Board of Aldermen of the Town of Woodfin have introduced the Woodfin Library Trail. The Woodfin Library Trail is a program designed to scatter books throughout the community in a way were citizens can access books across a range of topics and interests right in their own neighborhood.
"How precious a book is in light of the offering, in the light of the one who has the privilege of this offering. The library tells you of this offering." - Louis Kahn
Aside from making the “precious” resource of books available to our citizens, the Woodfin Library Trail is meant to create dialogue and interaction among neighbors. Sharing a book that means a lot to you or that has shaped your world view is a powerful way of engaging with your community. Sharing those powerful ideas is as simple as taking a copy of the book to one of our Little, Free Libraries opening the glass door and placing the book. No need to start a website or blog to make people think about the concepts you find important, just share a book. You may find that your contribution to the Woodfin Library Trail impacts not just the thoughts of others but their lives as well. Think of it as a first step towards making the world a better place.
"Every day, three times per second, we produce the equivalent of the amount of data that the Library of Congress has in its entire print collection, right? But most of it is like cat videos on YouTube or 13-year-olds exchanging text messages about the next Twilight movie." - Nate Silver
While there is plenty of “meaningless” information being produced on a day to day, even minute by minute process, books still resonate with power. When you read a book you’re opening the gate to another world and another world view. The Woodfin Board of Aldermen want to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to use the Woodfin Library Trail to grow, learn and imagine. Together we can improve our community and the lives of the people who live here all with the simple act of sharing a book.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the Woodfin Library Trail?
The Woodfin Library Trail is an expanding system of small library boxes placed around the Woodfin community. It is a way to expand access to quality books for citizens of all ages and from all walks of life. Books are free to borrow, we simply ask that you either bring them back in a timely fashion or replace them with a book aimed at similar age groups, if possible.
The Woodfin Library Trail presently has the following stops so far:
Woodfin Town Hall – located at 90 Elk Mountain Road the first stop on the Woodfin Library Trail is perched next to the Elk Mountain Road entrance to the Roy Pope Memorial Park (home to Avery’s Little Corner play facility). The first library placed as part of the library trail network, the Woodfin Town Hall location is a great place to stop and pick up a book to take home or simply peruse while sitting at the park.
Woodfin River Park – nestled on the banks of the French Broad River the second library stop is at popular Woodfin River Park. Conveniently located in proximity to shaded benches and the park gazebo, this library has quickly emerged as one of the favorite stops for both frequent visitors to the park as well as first time users. Like its partner at the Town Hall the River Park Library provides a wonderful place to enjoy a good book or read a story to your child or grandchild.
The Corner of Elk Mountain Road and Penley Avenue – adjacent to the Woodfin Community Center and a short walk from anywhere in Martel Village and surrounding houses, this library not only serves the immediate area but is also accessible from anywhere along Elk Mountain Road by way of the sidewalk. Pick up a book on your evening walk at this easy to get to stop along the Woodfin Library Trail.
The Green Oak Road Branch – the "Green Oak Branch" of our library trail (we apologize for the pun) is the first stop on the Woodfin Library Trail to be specifically requested by a neighborhood. Located in the 40 block of Green Oak this library primarily serves the residents of Green Oak and Woodfin Avenue, but like all of our other libraries this one is accessible to the public. As this library is placed on private property in a residential neighborhood we do request that visitors be respectful of the residents who have volunteered to host the facility. Please do not frequent this branch of the trail during non-daylight hours and try to reduce noise (even that awesome mixtape that’s been stuck in the cassette deck since 1988) and other disruptive behaviors so that this resources remains an asset to the community.
The Woodfin Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Store – located near the entrance to the Woodfin ABC store at 142 Weaverville Road this stop on the library trail makes the Woodfin ABC store the first (and to date only) ABC store in the state with its own library. So if you’re picking up a bottle of bourbon check and see if there’s a good western to thumb through to go along with it or if you’re taking home some absinthe on a fall evening maybe you’ll find a volume of Edgar Allen Poe to enjoy along with it. For that matter, just stop by and see what’s available regardless of whether you’re a two fisted drinker or a teetotaler the books are there for our entire community.
How do I donate books to the Woodfin Library Trail?
If you'd like to trade one of your books for one of ours it's a simple matter to donate your book, just place it in the box and you're done. If you'd like to donate more books than that please contact the Woodfin Town Administrator at email@example.com. Our storage capacity for books is limited so please do not drop off books at either the Town Hall or any of the libraries. We appreciate your willingness to help improve this program and want to make sure that we can put your gift to good use.
How do I get a Woodfin Library Trail stop in my neighborhood?
The Woodfin Library Trail is a relatively new program but it is the intent to expand the number of stops to provide coverage all over Town. If you'd like to see one of our libraries in your neck of the woods contact us to let us know about your interest and if possible help us identify a good site for locating the library.
What types of books can I contribute to the Woodfin Library Trail?
The Woodfin Library Trail is designed to meet the needs of a broad cross section of the community, as such there is no “wrong” age group for books. We also love to see books aimed at a variety of interests; for readers as well as those who enjoy having someone else read them a story. Occasionally, someone even pops a DVD into the library and as long as the focus stays on books we're happy for folks to share information through different media. Aside from these basic rules there aren't many more. It should be noted, however, that items placed in the library should under no circumstances be pornographic or obscene in nature. Items deemed offensive will be removed and disposed of at staff's discretion.
Are there names for the stops on the Woodfin Library Trail?
At present the Town of Woodfin has not adopted a naming policy for our little libraries, however, if you have an idea for someone who should be honored with a stop please let us know. Information that would be helpful in determining whether to add a name to a stop includes: the name of the individual to be honored, the name of the person or group nominating the individual, the reasons for the nomination, contact information for the nominating party and - if available - any contact information that would allow the Town to reach out to the individual or their surviving family members. Please email any such requests to the Woodfin Town Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who owns the books that are part of the Woodfin Library Trail?
Once a book has been placed in one of our libraries the book becomes the property of the Town of Woodfin. The books are available to all, but once donated the only way to get back your book (or other media) is to hope that it shows back up in one of the libraries. The Town is not able to locate a specific title and cannot guarantee the return of any contributed materials.
Can I use the Woodfin Library Trail to promote my business or non-profit?
Under no circumstances is it permissible to solicit business or membership through the Town of Woodfin’s libraries. Product or service information or their equivalent will be removed and disposed of at staff discretion. Materials removed by staff will not be returned and persons using these municipal facilities for commercial or non-profit use may be subject to civil or criminal penalties.
Can I paint or decorate one of the libraries?
All the libraries on the Woodfin Library Trail remain the property of the Town of Woodfin. Painting, decorating or damaging the library boxes is considered vandalism and persons responsible for unauthorized modifications to one of the libraries may be subject to civil or criminal penalties.
Where will the next libraries be placed?
At present the Town is still in the process of identifying appropriate sites for additional stops on the Woodfin Library Trail. If you know a great spot for one please let us know by emailing the Town Administrator at email@example.com.
Who do I contact to report a problem or make a suggestion regarding the Woodfin Library Trail?
If you see a problem with one of our Woodfin Library Trail stops please let us know. Likewise, if you’ve got a suggestion or a question or concern we haven’t answered on this site please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.