Book lovers are flocking to Fairhaven thanks to one librarian that has expanded her love of literature beyond the library and created a safe space to browse books freely.

Ann Richard is a school librarian that is passionate about her craft.

“I love libraries and books and I think it’s great to share the love of books with everyone,” she said.

By using recycled materials from her home, Richard built a small chest that holds books of her own, as well as donated books, for people to take and enjoy. It reminds me of a birdhouse for books, and books seem to be flying off her shelves as the Hedge House Little Free Library gains more popularity.

The pandemic made access to the library difficult, and Richard found that residents enjoyed browsing her collection, free of time restraints.

She seems to have no problem keeping the library stocked, either.

“I do have a lot of books myself,” Richard said. “But I’ll go to yard sales and buy them cheap. People will just drop off boxes of books now. I’m thrilled. I always want to get a book into someone’s hands.”

Richard is a self-proclaimed “bibliotherapist,” a term she discovered in a novel that she grew fond of. Finding the right book for the right person gives this librarian pure joy.

Since its debut in 2015, the Hedge House Little Free Library has inspired the creation of other free libraries in the area, with Richard developing many of them on her own. You will often catch her on weekends setting up a table and putting out even more books for anyone to grab.

Young, old, a casual reader, or researcher, any type of reader will be able to find a gem at this little library. Richard finds so much joy in connecting with her neighbors through books.

“I’m a school librarian, so it’s kids all day. I like getting multigenerational people at my own library," she said.

Hearing books are still a hot commodity brings me so much joy. I have always preferred the feeling of a paperback as opposed to an e-book, and this little library proves that gently used books aren’t forgotten. There are anxious readers ready to dive into a new story.

To learn more about Ann Richard and the Hedge House Little Free Library, find them on Facebook.

Want to donate? Email Richard at ann.richard@gmail.com.

SouthCoast's Little Free Libraries

Across the SouthCoast, stewards of Little Free Libraries are sharing their love of reading with their neighbors and keep these great little resources stocked with books for everyone to enjoy.