Keo UMC hosts ‘Little Free Library’ for its mission field

With a grand opening ceremony following Sunday worship, Keo United Methodist Church on April 5 became the official steward for the first Little Free Library in that central Arkansas community.

According to www.littlefreelibrary.org, the Little Free Library concept began in 2009 when a craftsman built a model of a one-room schoolhouse to honor his mother, a former teacher. He then mounted it on a post in his front yard and filled it with books.

Today, Little Free Libraries are “take a book, return a book” spots where communities can share their favorite literature and stories.

The Rev. Chanda Adams, library builder Hank Fort II and his son, Les, surround Keo UMC’s Little Free Library on its opening day. COURTESY PHOTO

The Rev. Chanda Adams, library builder Hank Fort II and his son, Les, surround Keo UMC’s Little Free Library on its opening day.
COURTESY PHOTO

Keo UMC’s Little Free Library, built by local craftsman Hank Fort II, is stocked with a variety of books that church members hope will interest their neighbors. As library stewards who are Christian, Keo UMC’s members will be sure a Bible is always available, said the Rev. Chanda Adams, the church’s pastor.

“Beyond that, we are hopeful that our mission field benefits from sharing books they enjoy,” she said. “Especially this summer when school is out, it will be fun to see how it unfolds.”

Adams said that the church considers the library an addition to their mission and outreach ministries, which already included members working at the Christ Corner food pantry, volunteering with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), taking care of individual neighbors and serving on a number of community boards and committees. This particular action of offering free books to the community expresses United Methodists’ Wesleyan heritage of valuing education and literacy for all.

“We have been praying that God would lead us in being good stewards of the blessings, gifts and graces we have received,” Adams said, “and being a steward of the library seems to be an answer.”

The library is so new that it isn’t yet included on the map at littlefreelibrary.org, but it is officially registered and should appear there soon, Adams says.

The Little Free Library sits in front of the church’s building at 294 Highway 232 West in Keo. For more information, call 501-285-2109.