North Lake library box

North Lake Elementary students give a thumbs-up as they and Principal George Butler celebrate the addition of a Little Free Library placed in front of their school. The Little Free Library was donated in memory of beloved school librarian Teresa Wiseman, who passed away on Aug. 12, 2018. She was a dedicated teacher with the Franklin County School System for 37 years.

North Lake Elementary School Principal George Butler and students recently celebrated the addition of a Little Free Library located in front of their school.

The Little Free Library was a concerted effort of North Lake students, who designed the box, and Tennessee Valley Woodworker Dave Van Buskirk, who built it with a donation from Crown Landscaping.

Franklin County Library Director Tina Stevens painted the wood box bright yellow with a blue roof with paint donated by Franklin County Paint.

The Franklin County Library will supply the children’s books which will be available to borrow year-round.  

The Little Library was donated in memory of Teresa Wiseman, North Lake School’s beloved school librarian, whom Butler described as his “right arm.”

“Truly she was my right arm,” he said. “I could go to her at any time and ask for her help or support and she was always there. I could not have asked for a more dedicated or a more beloved person.”

He went on to say Wiseman always had a smile on her face and brought happiness to all and that she has left a legacy of happiness to the school.

“She was more than just a school librarian,” Butler said. “She was an encourager, a supporter of these children and a motivator. She had a heart of kindness, loyalty and dedication to the children as well as to the school and the profession. We were blessed to have her here.”

Butler said the library is a monument to her dedication to the teaching profession.

Wiseman’s children and three siblings were in attendance for the ceremony and Butler thanked them for sharing their loved one with them.

He then thanked all involved in getting the Little Free Library placed at the school.

Finally, he addressed the students, urging them to take care of it and to really enjoy the books, as Wiseman would have wanted them to.

“Ms. Teresa would say something like this, ‘Read, read, and read! You’ll become a better reader!’” Butler said.

The Little Free Library is a 501 nonprofit organization that promotes neighborhood book exchanges. It is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. Anyone may take a book and return it or provide a book to share.

Little Free Library book-sharing boxes improve book access and thus help tackle low literacy rates. By providing books all year, they can mitigate the “summer slide” where kids’ reading skills slip.