WARREN - A new program that provides free books for local neighborhoods has kicked off on Vine Avenue.
The first local Little Free Libraries has begun in the city of Warren with Richard Mollard of Vine Avenue building the first weatherproof cupboard.
A ribbon cutting was held recently for the first Little Library.
Lori Faust, a local Little Libraries committee member, said the weatherproof cupboards are filled with donated books and placed in accessible places for the public to use.
She said anyone can donate or borrow books.
"Our recently formed committee is excited to be able to spearhead the effort to be in some of these Warren and surrounding areas," Foust said.
She said the free libraries create a lot of local interest in their neighborhoods with more than 10,000 worldwide.
Little Free Libraries started in Wisconsin in 2010 and has grown to include little libraries in most states.
Rachel Hathhorn said the libraries are a neighborhood initiative for local children and adults.
"Anyone can take a book that appeals to them to either borrow or keep. They can also leave one if they want," she said.
She said the Little Free Libraries initiative is to promote literacy and foster a sense of community.
Foust and Hathhorn said they will initially stock the Little Free Libraries with more than 30 good quality books for all ages.
Mollard will oversee and monitor the cabinet, which is weather protective and in his yard.
"We hope to raise funds to have at least three more in Warren," Hathhorn said
Hathhorn said people can come and take a book and then return it when they are done or they can keep it and bring a different book.
She said she got the idea after seeing one while visiting her daughter in Alabama.
"I thought, what a great idea to have in Warren ... We will have a journal inside the cabinet for anyone who would like to request a book title or leave a comment about a book they have read," Hathhorn said.
Michelle Chiaro, principal at Willard School, Warren City Schools, said she would like to see one placed in front of the elementary school buildings since many children don't have access to books in the summer.
"This will help the students retain literacy levels over the summer. It is exciting that children can read and get books throughout the summer," she said.
Hathhorn said kits are available online for anyone wanting to construct one at www.littlefreelibraries.com. People can register their projects online for a nominal fee.