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Dot Watson with The Book Shelf and the Sunrise Rotary Club displays the newest Little Free Library at Tennova Healthcare – Harton. The Harton library box was decorated by Assistant CEO Jonathon Gammon, seen here with Watson. The library is located in the main lobby waiting room of the hospital.

Tennova Healthcare – Harton is the newest location to house a miniature library, courtesy of the Sunrise Rotary Club.

The new little library box is the 14th such free library installed in town, according to Dot Watson with The Book Shelf and Rotary.

The Sunrise Rotary has worked to install the miniature libraries all across Tullahoma, according to Watson. Libraries installed by the club can be found at the city’s elementary schools, the Tullahoma Animal Shelter, South Jackson Civic Center and more.

The libraries are always decorated by a volunteer. Sometimes the libraries are even decorated by someone associated with their locations, like the Harton library.

The Harton library box was decorated by Tennova Healthcare – Harton Assistant CEO Jonathon Gammon. Gammon evoked a starry night on the box, with the words “read” and “dream” on opposing sides of the library.

According to Watson, all the books inside the library were donated to the hospital by The Book Shelf, which is a project founded by the Literacy Council of Tullahoma. While some Rotary libraries have themes to the books inside them – the animal shelter library is filled with animal-themed books, for example – the books in the hospital box encompass a wide array of subjects.

Watson added that literacy council and Book Shelf volunteers go around and check each of the library locations to see if they need new books to round out their selections.

“We try to fill them with books which are appropriate for their location,” she said, meaning keeping children’s books in the libraries located at the elementary schools or stocking biographies of theater characters and plays inside the library located at South Jackson Civic Center.

Because the hospital is visited by so many different people on a daily basis, the books inside the Harton box cover myriad subjects.

The idea is to include something that anyone could enjoy, according to Gammon.

The library is located in the lobby of the first floor of the hospital, meaning anyone who may be visiting a patient or waiting to hear results from a physician can relax a little and read a book while they wait.

Even the hospital’s patients can enjoy the books if they’d like, Gammon said.

The only thing the libraries built by the Rotary lack is official recognition from the Little Free Library website. According to Watson, library registration fees sit at $37 per library, which adds up quickly for a nonprofit like the Rotary.

Watson said she encourages anyone wanting to assist in getting the libraries registered to do so, or, if they can’t, she could ask the Rotary to register a few itself.

For more information on the Little Free Library project, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.

In addition to the Harton library, the Sunrise Rotary Little Free Libraries are located at East Lincoln, Jack T. Farrar and Robert E. Lee Elementary schools, both Coffee County Health Department locations in Manchester and Tullahoma, the Tullahoma Area Chamber of Commerce, South Jackson Civic Center, Tullahoma Animal Shelter, Lynda Welty Realty and Tullahoma Art Center.

There are also free libraries located at the Tullahoma Police Department and Bel-Aire Elementary School, which were created and donated by other volunteers.

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.

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