Little Free Library opens at Gulley Park in Fayetteville

Jo Ann Wardein, steward of Fayetteville’s newest Little Free Library, stands next to the community book exchange box she recently had installed at Gulley Park.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

Fayetteville’s newest community book exchange officially opened this week.

Jo Ann Wardein held a brief dedication ceremony Monday to introduce a Little Free Library she recently had installed at Gulley Park.

The weather-proof box, outfitted with a see-through door and a cedar shingle roof, is stuffed with over 30 novels and children’s books, all free for the taking. Borrowers can decide to return them or trade them for a different book.

A peek inside the Gulley Park Little Free Library.

Todd Gill

The micro library is part of a growing global literary movement that’s recently taken root locally. Wardein’s is the sixth official Little Free Library to open in Fayetteville.

The idea started a few years ago in Wisconsin when Todd Bol built a wooden book container designed to look like a miniature school house in front of his home as a tribute to his mother, who was a school teacher and a book lover. The idea quickly spread and is expected to be responsible for over 10,000 Little Free Libraries by 2014.

Library owners can build their own library box, usually the size of a large bird house or dollhouse, or purchase one from the Little Free Library website. Owners who register their libraries are assigned a number at the organization’s website and are added to a growing map of libraries across the world.

Wardein said her Little Free Library was a gift from her daughter Meggi who envisioned a permanent location for the library at Gulley Park, just a few blocks from the Wardein’s home.

Local Little Free Libraries

#227317 E. Sutton St., Fayetteville
Stewards: Alison and Charlie Alison, Luke Fowler

#230904 N. Park Ave., Fayetteville
Stewards: Judith & Daniel Levine

#446422 W. Cleburn St., Fayetteville
Stewards: Jeanie & Jimmy Hill

#13652766 College Dr., Fayetteville
Steward: Gwyn Wood

#4436924 Hall Ave., Fayetteville
Steward: D’lorah Hughes

#8788Gulley Park, Fayetteville
Steward: Jo Ann Wardein


After a few meetings with the city’s Parks and Recreation staff, the idea was approved and Wardein’s husband Jim got to work installing the library along the pathway leading from the southern parking lot to the Niokaska Creek bridge.

The new “branch” was apparently an instant hit.

“The children’s books were gone almost immediately,” said Wardein. “And I’ve already re-stocked the library twice since last Tuesday.”

Wardein said although books were initially disappearing faster than they were being replaced, the community is starting to get the hang of how the library works.

“I’ve noticed several new books that were added in the last few days, so I really think it’s catching on,” she said.

For more information or to find locations of Little Free Libraries across the world, visit