HOOPESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — There are two libraries at Maple Grade School in Hoopeston .. but kids don’t have to return their books to one of them.
The “Lending Library” is right outside of the school. It has three rows of books and a bench. There are lights inside so people can visit anytime during the day or night. This was a long-time dream for first grade teacher, Tara Fares. She took her plan to principal, Suzi Root, who agreed it should happen.
“We need to get books in the hands of kids and everybody in the community so I thought it was a great idea,” says Root.
Fares’ family built the library last summer and unveiled it in August 2019. More than 400 books have been taken home since then, and it’s been stocked with another 200.
“It’s really nice to know those books are getting in the hands of people that need them .. you know when the library’s not open, all hours of the night, it’s nice to have that opportunity,” says Root.
The library has something for everyone — from little kids through adults. It’s been stocked with many different titles … from cookbooks to novels.
“I have seen high school kids after school come by and borrow, I have seen our kids after school stop, bring grandma and mom, and then they borrow a book or two. I’ve seen older gentlemen stop with their dogs, pick a book and wander by,” says Tara Fares.
Fares says this is about giving back to a community she loves and encouraging more kids to love reading. Books don’t have to be returned to this library. In fact, Fares would prefer if they didn’t.
“Almost all of these are donated from the community to go out and find their forever home. So honestly I’m great when they don’t come back,” she says.