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By Staff | Oct 31, 2012

This “Little Free Library” outside of Glen Tarbett’s Paden City home offers residents a chance to read and share books with their friends and neighbors.


Staff Writer

PADEN CITY – Over the past few months, Glen Tarbett has read books on topics ranging from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. to D-Day.

An avid reader, Tarbett said he wanted to share some of his favorite books with others, while also learning about what others were reading. That motivation, triggered by a similar undertaking by his son Todd in Knoxville, Tenn., led Glen Tarbett to build a “Little Free Library” outside of his home on S. 2nd Avenue in Paden City.

The library is a small house-like box in Tarbett’s front yard containing books that anyone can take free of charge. Todd Tarbett found the idea for the library online and built one in his neighborhood in Tennessee, where community members have taken to taking and leaving books and becoming involved in the project.

“They had a neighborhood bookstore close down, and this gave them a place to trade books,” Glen Tarbett said. “This way, books end up in the community instead of just sitting on a shelf in someone’s house.”

Tarbett said he had took to making his own library, following a standard blueprint he had found online. He said thus far, response has been slow, though he was recently given a basket full of books to put into the rotation. Tarbett said he hopes more community members will take advantage.

“This gives everyone a chance to read books they’ve liked over the years and share them with others,” he said. “There is no cost, and we aren’t worried about people taking the books because it’s a free service, so there is no responsibility.”

Tarbett said his library is only the second in the state, with another one being built recently in Charleston. He said if the project continues to grow and the library box begins to overflow, he will keep books in his home and keep rotating them as necessary.