Little Free Library

Dexter Taylor talks about how he came up with the design for the new Little Free Library in the GWTA transfer center. The library, the second one sponsored by Literacy Connections of Wayne County, was dedicated Wednesday morning. In the background is Suzie Acree, Literacy Connections executive director.

Buses at the Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority transfer center can take riders to wherever their destination may be around the county and beyond.

And now the books at the center's new Little Free Library can take riders on trips of imagination.

More than 200,000 trips come through the transfer center every year, said Don Willis, GWTA executive director.

"Every one of those is an opportunity, for example, with the Little Free Library to maybe grab a book and think about literacy and think about sharing that with a child," he said.

The Little Free Library, the second one sponsored by Literacy Connections of Wayne County, was dedicated Wednesday morning.

It was designed by Dexter Taylor, a student at Wayne Community College and an intern with Literacy Connections.

"Taylor did a fantastic job and was inquisitive, put a lot of thought into it and had a lot of ideas," Willis said. "He took the initiative of how this was going to look and how he wanted to reflect the architecture of old Union Station and how he wanted to bring out transportation as part of the design. He put a ton of thought in that. He involved us all along the way with his ideas.

"I just love how he has executed it and brought it to life. I just can't thank them enough for honoring us here with a Little Free Library. I remember growing up in a poor community. I remember my mom reading to me and just the opportunity to have books available to me and going to the library and the difference that it made for me in my life. My hope is that this Little Free Library will affect a lot of lives for the future."

Willis said he will look for ways to promote and get information out about the Little Free Library.

"In the future we might do a ride and read program, and we could promote literacy and riding the bus at the same time," Willis said.

Taylor has aspirations to be an artist, but first he wants to earn a degree in business administration from Wayne Community College.

"As you can see on the top frame, I kind of dedicated the style to the old train station that is next door," he said. "I wanted to add a little dedication to the train. I added two blue buses for the door handles.

"Kind of like Mr. Willis said, he wanted the buses to be a gateway opening people up to reading. So I came up with this idea."

Taylor said seeing the finished project made him feel good.

"I have never had anything like this exposed to the public, so I am thankful for it," he said.

A Little Free Library is not like a traditional library, said Suzie Acree, Literacy Connections executive director.

"People can come and take a book and not return it," she said. "They can also come and bring a book and donate it so that we always have plenty for everybody who wants to come in here.

"Like Don said, it is to instill the love of reading for everybody who comes through here and to be able to enjoy things that we have in our everyday life as well."

High school students did a project to collect books for the Little Free Library. Friends of the Wayne County Public Library also donated books.

"Also, just in general being a literacy center, people bring books to us and we save them up for occasions like this," Acree said. "This is our second Little Free Library in the community — the one we have in the (literacy) center and now this one.

"We are in the process of adopting a third one, but that is a secret for now. But we love to spread the joy of reading wherever we can."

The project has been going on for about a year — from idea to completion, and once planning and designing were done, the rest came together quickly, Acree said.

Information about Goldsboro Union Station and its architecture, the Little Free Library program and a list of contributors are imprinted on the case's glass.

Books are available for all reading levels from children to adults, she said.

"Whatever your heart desires can probably be found in there, at least for now," Acree said. "What tends to happen with a Little Free Library is that people tend to adopt it, and you will see people take books from it and then you will see people bring some in once they know one is here, or bring it to the center so that we can replenish it. We will always check on it and make sure that it has a good supply for people coming through.

"We are all here to serve the community and meet the literacy needs of Wayne County. We do that by one-on-one tutoring for adults who have difficulty in training and other issues that help them with their educational goals. That is what it is all about, and we were super excited when Don came up with this thought. I think we were just sitting at a meeting talking and he said, 'I have always wanted a Little Free Library down at the transfer station.'"

For more information, visit https://www.literacyconnectionsofwaynecounty.org or littlefreelibrary.org.