Little Free Library


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MASON CITY, IA – Residents driving down East State Street in Mason City may notice a pleasant new addition.

An “open library” sits outside a Mason City home with books provided by the owner and locals.

Residents are urged to borrow a book and replace it with another.

For this homeowner, she says she’s glad to help bring the community together.

“I just thought you know, I have all these books and I think that would be kind of cool to share them with people cause I’m a book freak. So I just talked to a friend of mine and he built it for me and my son mounted it. It’s been going great,” said Mary Balk of Mason City.

Mary says education has always been an important part of her family, and she’s excited about bringing that to the Mason City community.

“I think books are very important. My husband was a teacher and I have loved books all my life. My children love books and I just think there’s nothing better for education,” said Balk.

Today, Mary says many of the books in the “open library” are not the one’s she originally started with.

They’ve been replaced by people trading them out and that is something she’s very excited about.

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