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MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A late-night hobby, a dream idea,  and a community coming together to make it all happen.

Eyewitness News Photojournalist Tom Gregory went to Jackson Township, Monroe County to talk with Jackie and Keith Kilian how they turned an antique British phone box into a free library.

“I love antiques, so one night I couldn’t sleep and went to Facebook marketplace antiques. So I saw it there initially a phone box. I showed it to my husband and of course the first thing he says “where are you going to put that”! I said you know how I always wanted to make a little free library, it would be perfect for that” said Jackie Killian, Library Steward.

“It cost me more to get it here than it did to buy it. It took two cranes and a flatbed truck. It is made of solid cast iron and it is every bit of 1,800 pounds. It arrived on June 17th and was in very rough shape” she told us.

“The rest of it though needed to be scrapped off right down to the bare metal and as you might imagine with this being a 65-year-old piece much of the paint on this if not all of it was lead-based,” Keith Killian, Assistant Library Steward.

“So it took us about ten weeks and probably around 200 hours total labor in order to be able to strip it completely and restore it,” said Keith.

“We were, needed to work on it in place because once it was set down there was no physical way we were going to be able to move it” said Keith.

“This is part of what is called little free Library.Org. I love the idea of it you know books that could just sit out there and people can swap them. Now most little free libraries are small like a birdhouse and they’re adorable and they mount on a post” noted Jackie.

“So they’re really happy to see something that is not only antique but has a certain history to it and they really enjoy just being part of it” said Keith.

Many of the books were donated by the Killian’s’ neighbors. The Killians are hosting a ribbon-cutting tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, September 20)  from 2 to 4 at their house where the library is located. 

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY.ORG

Press Release

Stroudsburg, PA ‐ Sept. 21, 2019 ‐ Readers from Reeders have something to celebrate as a genuine piece of historic Merry Old England arrives in the Poconos!

Little Free Libraries are a global phenomenon. The small, front‐yard book exchanges number more than 90,000 around the world in 85 countries — from Iceland to Tasmania. Now, a new Little Free Library at 329 Pin Oak Road in Reeders will join the movement, to share books, bring people together and create a community of readers. 

While most of the Little Free Libraries resemble a large birdhouse mounted on a garden post, this one is actually a fully restored, genuine antique English phone booth or phone box, more properly. It is approximately 65 years old, eight feet tall, and weighs over 1,800 lbs.! Made of solid cast iron, except for its teak wood door, it also has original leather “hurricane door hinges” and bears the historic crown requested by Queen Elizabeth in time for her coronation!

Jacqueline and Keith Killian will host a grand‐opening party for their Little Free Library on Saturday September 21st, 2019 2:00 – 4:00 PM open to the public. The celebration will include refreshments, yard games and photo booth props for phone box selfies!

Our Little Free Library doesn’t belong only to us, it belongs to the whole community. It’s our hope that this Little Free Library will bring a little more joy, a little more connection and a whole lot more books to our community. We’ve already met so many new neighbors while outside working on its restoration. One unexpected benefit since its arrival… we now have the safest intersection in the neighborhood as every car stops and people stare in disbelief when they see it for the first time.

By chance, the front corner of our yard is also a neighborhood school bus stop. The local children who normally wait for their bus here are excited at the idea they can sit on the bench and read a book while they wait for their school bus in the morning. Who would have thought in this day and age of technology, children would be so excited about the opening of a Little Free Library? It truly made me so happy to hear.

Our phone box made its way “across the pond” some 20 years ago when its previous owner, purchased it from a municipal depot in England and had it shipped to his front garden in Connecticut. Shipping a nearly one-ton phone box was no small feat! The move to Pennsylvania from Connecticut involved two cranes, a flatbed truck, and nearly five hours of driving. A bright red English phone box is not the kind of thing you see every day hurtling along I-95 most days. Already, we’ve had lots of folks stop and take a quick selfie photograph which we love! Feel free to stop by, snap a selfie and convince your friends you’ve taking an impromptu weekend in London.

We’ve set it at the corner of our property near the roadside to be easily accessible for everyone. Cast iron stepping stones provide a welcoming path to our library’s door. There is also a lovely little red garden bench to sit in the shade and peruse your book selections. For our four-footed neighbors, our library’s sign post also includes a special hook to secure your dog’s leash while you step inside the library. Once inside you’ll also find wonderful books of many genres for children and adults. We also have a little guest book for visitors to sign or leave notes and book suggestions, a candy jar for the children and another treat jar filled with dog biscuits. We have very generous neighbors, family and friends who’ve already donated so many wonderful books!

The Little Free Library nonprofit organization has been honored by the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation, and the American Library Association, and Reader’s Digest named them one of the “50 Surprising Things We Love about America.” Each year, nearly 10 million books are shared in Little Free Libraries. To learn more, please visit littlefreelibrary.org.   

Contact: Keith & Jackie Killian (570) 460-4273 or jackie@aquaticsacademy.com

Jacqueline and Keith Killian will host a grand‐opening party for their Little Free Library on Saturday September 21st, 2019 2:00 – 4:00 PM open to the public. The celebration will include refreshments, yard games and photo booth props for phone box selfies!

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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