Little Library 2 Little Library

By Shelby R. Farrell


GARDEN PRAIRIE – Thanks to a local 4-H group, Garden Prairie residents can now enjoy big reading experiences from a little library.

The Grasshoppers-Sweet Clover 4-H Club built a Little Free Library as a gift to the Garden Prairie community and Garden Prairie United Church of Christ located at 10990 U.S. Route 20.

Little Free Libraries is a worldwide community movement with a mantra of “Take a book, leave a book” and the idea that community members can take and leave books as they please.

The movement began in 2009, and by January 2015 about 25,000 Little Free Libraries were registered with the organization, according to the Little Free Library official website.

So when members of the Grasshopper-Sweet Clover 4-H Club were brainstorming for ideas for their annual community-focused project, parent and volunteer Dara Mogenis brought the idea of building a Little Free Library to the group.

“We had stopped as a family at one in Marengo and just believed it was a great thing and took a picture, took a book, and it just always stuck in my mind that maybe that should be a part of our community,” Mogenis said.

She said the club usually gets involved with helping the community through one-day events, such as volunteering at an animal shelter or a food stand or donating gifts for Christmas, but this is the first thing that the club has done something that can affect the community for an extended period of time.

“We wanted to do something a little bit different, more open to the community, something that would be good year-round and not just that one night that we would go help out,” she said.

Not only is the library available year-round, but it is also available for readers to see at night with the unique installments of solar lights on top of the bright red library that shine into the box at night.

Mogenis’s son, Konnor, came up with the idea to add the solar lights on top to bring more attention to the library at night as well as to help those looking for something to read at night. He also said another unique feature for the library is that it’s separated into two sides, one for adult books and one for children books.

“We wanted it to be more organized and more open to everybody, not just adults or just kids,” Konnor said. “I can look forward to doing stuff similar to this again.”

To learn more about Little Free Libraries, visit


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