On the campus of Columbian Elementary School, members of the community celebrated a new hub for reading – Making the second Little Lending Library added to the community from the Carthage Family Literacy Council.

On the campus of Columbian Elementary School, members of the community celebrated a new hub for reading – Making the second Little Lending Library added to the community from the Carthage Family Literacy Council.
The Carthage Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony with Literacy Council members and Columbian staff and fourth grade Tiger Leaders on Feb. 1 at the southeast entrance of the school. Located near the door, bus stop and sidewalk, Columbian Principal Bryan Shallenburger noted it was an excellent location.
"We have ages from high school to preschool that come by here," Shallenburger said. "We have a lot of walking traffic with families; this will make it convenient to make books available to the community. I think the hardest part is going to be expressing to everyone that it's here, it's OK to come use it. The students have been really excited for this."
Always stocked with books, the Little Lending Library operates with the hope that kids and their families will borrow books, and return them, or replenish them with other gently used books.
"What makes this flow is donations of gently-used children's books," said Larry Hartman, president of the Family Literacy Council. "If a child takes a book home and decides to keep it, that's great. We're in the business of giving books away and in the hands of kids. Our mission is to get parents to read to their children."
There are donation sites around Carthage including: Halo Salon, Mother Road Coffee, Grace Episcopal Church (which is the other location of the Little Lending Library) Mercy Hospital Carthage and Repurpose Boutique.
The first Little Lending Library was added to the north side of Grace Church in April 2016. Hartman says due to the fact that Literacy Council members restock the library, he knows books are going out the community. Kids like Colt Pugh, a Columbian fourth grader, can go get a book whenever they want.
"I think it's going to be a very good thing," Pugh said. "It's going to help a lot of kids learn to read, and it's a cool idea."
Carthage Family Literacy Council members are: Larry Hartman, Mary Kirby, Judy Pace, Jim Wakefield, Jeanne Goolsby, Kim Splitter, Sylvia Sprenkle, Jane Goade and volunteer Anne Elliff.
The Literacy Council partners with the Parents As Teachers program at the Early Childhood Center and provides books on a regular basis.