Little Free Library now open in Millboro Springs

In some of the larger towns in this region listeners might have seen what looks like a little house on a fencepost. Some are simple, and others are painted and decorated with colorful and elaborate designs. All of them promote the joy and accessibility of reading. One Bath County resident, and woodworking instructor at Clifton Forge School of the Arts brought the Little Free Library to Millboro Springs.

His name is :

“Joe Wood, and I live on the Walton Tract, down on Route 42 on the Cowpasture River.”

“How did you first become interested in a community book bank?”

“Well it was in my Woodworking magazine. It showed you how to build the library, with instructions, and the plans, and I just went from there. And I talked with Lennie Foutz at Millboro Mercantile about putting up there at the store, and he said that’d be great.”

“How did you go about finding what to put on the shelves?”

“Well the article in the woodworking magazine said you start by asking people to donate some books that they’ve read that they’d like to share with other people, and people in the community just started bringing books and putting in it. At one time we had about thirty-five in it, and people come in and get a book; some bring a book and take a book. I’ve talked to a couple of people; they’ve went through it and got a book. I talked to one man who said he brought five books one day, and he said he would bring some more as people picked them up. The other day I looked, and it was down to nineteen books in the Free Library.”

I asked Joe if there’s any particular process for getting a book.

“Just come by the store there at the intersection of forty-two and thirty-nine, and there’s a little blue building on the post there that you can put your books in, or go through it and look and find one you like, and take it home and read it.”


“Share what you think is good about just reading for pleasure anymore when we’re all so overloaded with information.”


“Well, you know you can read something that you’re interested in, and it doesn’t have to be in the news, and that seems like that’s all we see anymore. A lot of what’s on the TV is continuous news; and there’s very little good news on the TV or on the radio, so I think this gives people an opportunity to read something they’re interested in, and there’s a lot of good books out there. There’s some local people that’s written books; I like John Grisham; he’s lives in Charlottesville and I think there’s a couple of his books that’s been in there. I didn’t look last time I was by the store to see if they were still there, but he has some local books you know, of interest.”

Have you noticed if there’s times when the LLF seems to empty out faster than others?

“Well, you know, I think people are different. I think in the summer, somebody’s on vacation, they’ll pick up a book maybe and sit down in the late afternoon, or when it’s been extremely hot here lately, I think people have picked up books.    And then in the wintertime when it’s cold, and can’t get outside, they’ll take books.

“And could you remind listeners about when they can check out, or drop-off any of these books?”

“It’s open all the time. It’s right there on the parking lot at the store at Millboro Mercantile, and you can just stop there anytime and pick up a book.”

As of this broadcast the only other LLF I know in the Bath-Highland area is at Bolar Ruritan Club north of Warm Springs on 220 part way to Monterey.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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