Make plans for a trek along with the Town of Woodfin’s new Library Trail a project of the Woodfin Parks and Recreation Department.
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 has introduced the Woodfin Library Trail. The Woodfin Library Trail is a program designed to scatter books throughout the community in a way where 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 worldview 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 wants 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.