Two Little Free Libraries will debut in Morton during the 2016 Pumpkin Festival. The first Little Free Library was built by Morton Junior High Student Chloe Schonert and her family. The Little Free Library concept began in Wisconsin in 2009 and is now a worldwide movement which promotes literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges. Schonert's Little Free Library will be dedicated on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 10 a.m. It is located on Jefferson Street adjacent to the Confectionery.

Schonert first learned of Little Free Libraries while thinking of her ideas for her Passion Project, which is a school activity where the junior high students pick a topic and create a presentation. “Chloe has always loved reading and this was a great way to combine her love of reading and also give back to the community,” said Samantha Schonert, Chloe’s mother. 

The two had approached Susan Pyles, the Village Tourism Director about a location for the Little Free Library, and after the Chamber Forecast Breakfast where Morton Library Director Alissa Williams spoke about the Library’s desire to put little free libraries in the community Pyles connected the Schonerts with the Morton Library. 

“One of the priorities of our new strategic plan is community engagement and we have looked at Little Free Libraries as a way to do that, so when Chloe approached us we were happy to partner with her and support the project however we could,” said Alissa Williams, Morton Library Director.

The Morton Public Library worked with the Morton Woodcarving Club to build a Little Free Library, which is on display in front of the Library and will be moved to a permanent location within the Morton Park District. In the Spring the Library plans to host a community program about building and maintaining a Little Free Library in hopes of encouraging other residents to consider putting them in their neighborhood.