Little Free Library honors ‘Miss Rose’

Published 5:18 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2022

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LASKER – The goal of a Little Free Library is to provide easier, local access to books. But many of these tiny library boxes also serve as a memorial to someone who was passionate about reading.

Northampton County’s newest Little Free Library, located at Lasker’s Town Hall, will honor Rosa “Rose” Roane Sumner who passed away in September. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Dec. 28 to celebrate the unveiling of the box.

Crystal Mann, the granddaughter of Rosa “Rose” Roane Sumner, places books inside the Little Free Library. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

“It’s an honor and a privilege for the town of Lasker to have [this box] placed here on the grounds of the town hall,” said Dick Collier, mayor of Lasker, as he welcomed people to the event.

The Sumner Little Free Library was coordinated and constructed by several of her family members.

“In the days after Grandma died, this idea came to me to do a Little Free Library in her memory because she really loved to read,” explained Crystal Mann.

“There wasn’t a time I went to visit that a book wasn’t in her hand or on the chair,” she continued. “She gave books for gifts. She let us borrow her books. We just thought this would be a good way to honor her memory.”

During her lifetime, Sumner was very active in the community, spending 30 years as Northampton County’s Clerk to the Board of Commissioners. She also was a member of Lasker Baptist Church, and served on the Board of Directors and the Ladies Auxiliary for Pine Forest Rest Home in Potecasi.

The library box was constructed with two old refurbished newspaper boxes with a roof added on top. Another of Sumner’s granddaughters, Ciara Sumner, painted flowers on the outside, adding some extra color to the box as people pass by.

Mann explained that the Sumner Library has two sections: one for children’s books and the other for adult and young adult books.

“So there are books for everyone,” she said.

People are welcome to take or donate books to the library box at any time.

“We hope you’ll enjoy it. Tell your friends, your family about it. We’re excited to have it here,” Mann concluded right before the Sumner family gathered around the box to officially cut the ribbon.

The box is registered with the Little Free Library nonprofit organization, which means it will be included on a global map on their website. There are more than 100,000 registered Little Free Libraries across the world, including several already located throughout Northampton County.