By Kandy Duke
Athens’ newest Little Free Library™ is located at 2440 West Broad Street in the Athens Business Center. It’s nestled amongst plants in front of Suite 17, the Next Step studio for body rolling, yoga, Pilates and Healing Touch.
Kandy Duke, owner of Next Step, got the idea while visiting a friend in Atlanta. Her friend lived on a street where a family had one in their front yard. They called it their “street library.” At the time she didn’t know there were already several Little Free Libraries in the Athens area.
The Little Free Library organization asked that participants make their boxes from recycled materials with no glass parts. Ken Duke fashioned the box using a discarded gate post as the base and a remnant from a coastal dock project as the roof. The sides were formed using leftover flooring lumber and the front see-through door panel was found at the Habitat for Humanity store.
Kandy decided to use the project as a way to learn how to paint. Week by week she lugged the library box to artist and teacher, Laurel Genteman and her Farm Studio. “The experience has been amazing” says, Kandy. “Laurel is an incredible teacher and I could never imagine creating something this whimsical while having so much fun.”
The back side of her Little Free Library, visible to her students while they practice yoga, is of frogs painted in various yoga poses. One side displays a bottle tree with swamp hibiscus, while the other side used a knot hole in the wood as the focal point of a tree stump. The knot hole dons a tree spirit face with sunflowers towering close by.
Kandy’s Next Step is to invite four of her friends who are writers to include a copy of their books in the library. You’ll find Paige Cummings’ book Under the Liberty Oak and Dac Crossley’s books Guns Across the Rio, Return of the Texas Ranger and Escape From the Alamo, Nancy Degenhardt’s books Stephen’s Gift and A Place to Be and Phil Greenspan’s book, Married Men Die First: A Blessing.
Readers are invited to drop by Next Step in The Athens Business Center and "take a book, leave a book" at the newest Little Free Library in Athens.