There are 150,000 Little Free Libraries spread over 100 countries around the world – small buildings filled with free books for children and adults to enjoy. Last Saturday, one more library joined that collection – The Edgar Starks Little Free Library in Hillsboro.
At the dedication, Mary Dawson, a member of the Hillsboro Library Friends, said the little library is a true sign of a strong community.
“A Little Free Library really shows that a community cares about the people in it,” she said. “Libraries offer one of the most important freedoms – a search of information. They offer hours and hours of reading pleasure, and this library, I think, is a community center and offers for people to come in.”
The little library will have children’s books – most of which were donated by Jan McNeel – and books for adults.
Constructed by Sarah Moss and Dianne Monroe, and roofed by Dave Fowler and Sondra Vaughan, the little library is dedicated to the memory of Edgar Starks, who was a pillar of the Hillsboro community and gave generously of his time and talents.
“There are reminders of his generosity and woodworking skills all around the community and the area,” Dawson said. “We had no idea that there were so many. Picture frames, tables, chairs, bookcases and even a milking stool were constructed for family members, friends and community groups.”
A display of photos of Starks’ work was set up in the library on a tri-fold frame that he made for his grandson, Hunter Wilfong, to use for social studies fair projects when he was in school.
Dawson said it is difficult to go anywhere in Hillsboro and not see Starks’ work, or meet with someone who commissioned work from him.
“Edgar certainly was a helping hand and a good neighbor to the school and this library,” she said. “When Hillsboro High School was changed over, they needed something to do with the trophies that had been collected over the years. So Edgar built a trophy case and that trophy case is back in the community room. There’s another one at Hillsboro school.”
The sign above the community room doors at the library, goal posts and fence on the school field and countless other items were made with Starks’ loving hands.
“There’s a long list of things,” Dawson said. “Edgar must have been busy in his workshop. I’m sure his friends and family appreciate him all over again when they see all these reminders of his contributions to the community, and we’re happy to honor him.”
Dawson recalled that when she met with Edgar’s wife, Doris, at the library to discuss all the items Edgar had made for the community, Ginger Must came in and added that she had bunk beds that Edgar made.
He truly left a lasting impression.
The Edgar Starks Little Free Library is located in front of the Hillsboro Public Library. It has two-stories of shelves and is bright yellow with red doors and roof. Details adorn the little building, such as flowers growing behind a white picket fence on the sides, as well as a miniature quilt square painting depicting cardinals on the back.