Little Hamlin library gets lots of use. 

October 23, 2021

Little Hamlin library gets lots of use. 

By Kate Krieger-Watkins, MCP Correspondant. 

Around the County is a presentation of Preferred Credit Union, www.preferredcu.org, located locally at 266 N. Jebavy Dr., Ludington.

HAMLIN TOWNSHIP – When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people were stuck in their homes with not a lot to do to fill their extra time, so many turned to reading as a pleasurable pastime. With libraries not being able to open, free little libraries that people built and set-up in front of their homes started popping up all across the nation and the world.

Julie Marshall and her husband, Dan Neil, had see, the little libraries during their previous travels and thought having one installed in front of their home would be a great idea.

“We saw the free little libraries in Florida and in our travels,” Marshall said. “We have a friend in Fountain who had built one and we just thought, ‘hey we can do that.’ Also, we had many bookcases full of books and thought it would be a great way to share them.”

As retired educators from Ludington Area Schools, the couple knew the importance of making reading become a life-long habit and they thought, why not spread their love for reading to others as well.

“We both love to read and know the importance of reading,” Marshall stated. “We just wanted to make it available to others and live in a perfect place. We live across from a resort, where we thought people might like to grab a book to read while on vacation without having to buy one or go to a library.”

Marshall said they have put out a variety of different types of books and are always accepting books in the library when people have something they want to share with others as well.

“We have mystery novels, romance, nonfiction, biographies and children books available,” she said. “Authors such as John Sandford, James Patterson, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele and Robert Parker. We have lots of friends who have donated to us. We feel that it has been well worth our effort because we have people stop often to browse the library. They come by foot, bikes, motorcycles and cars.”

Not knowing who or when people stop by the library to take or leave a book, Marshall has been pleasantly surprised by the number of people who have left notes on their books.

“We have had sticky notes left on books,” she said. “Other little library owners have left books with identifying stickers from their home site. We have had crosses and biblical bookmarks left as well as painted stones and thank you notes.”

 

The Neils’ Nook is located at 3466 Stearns Drive. Marshall said anyone can feel free to stop and take or leave books as they please. Every few weeks they try to make new books available as well.

“We try to rotate or add books every couple of weeks,” she said. “Our sign does say that they may take and not return or replace. We truly do have plenty to replace with and I’m sure if we run out, it would only take a communication to our friends and we would have plenty more.”

Although, they do have plenty of books to keep a good rotation going, Marshall did state that during the beginning of the pandemic, they couldn’t keep certain books in stock fast enough, due to the demand.

“During the spring of 2020 when COVID kept us all at home and children out of school, we saw many families stopping by to check out the library,” she said. “At that time we really wished we had more children’s books. We think it was used most heavily during that spring. We are always looking for more books, so people can just stop by and place them in the library and we will find them.”

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