Catawba County News

Public Health welcomes Little Free Library

Public Health welcomes Little Free Library

Published: May 22, 2023


HICKORY, NC – Catawba County Public Health has added a Little Free Library location at the building’s front entrance to promote early child literacy.

Little Free Libraries are small book exchange boxes and can be found in more than 100 countries worldwide and in approximately 20 locations in Catawba County. Now, a new Little Free Library at Public Health (3070 11th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory, NC 28602) has joined the movement to share books, bring people together and create communities of readers.

“Because Public Health primarily serves families and children, we interact with this important population daily. Reading with young children promotes early literacy, which is tied to higher educational attainment,” said Catawba County Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken. “Educational attainment is also one factor that impacts our health as adults, so early literacy can make a difference in individuals’ long term health.”

Books are donated and placed in the Little Free Library box and are available for anyone to pick up. Individuals are encouraged to donate books and take books home to read.

“We hope the Little Free Library at Public Health is a way for members of the community to connect over stories,” said McCracken. “And a way to make reading an important part of children’s lives.”

The Little Free Library is also supported by the Catawba County Partnership for Children. The Partnership maintains 15 Little Free Libraries across the county, keeping them full of children’s books as well as a variety of educational games for children.

The box at Public Health was painted by Cameron McNally, an accomplished artist and freshman at Saint Stephens High School. She has a passion for the arts and has enjoyed drawing and painting since she was in preschool. She continues to create artwork on a regular basis both for school and her own personal enjoyment. She also has a strong passion for community service and was excited to take an active role in the Catawba County Partnership for Children’s program by designing and painting a library box.

Additional Little Free Library locations can be found at


Photo From Catawba County Public Health / The Little Free Library at Catawba County Public Health was designed and painted by Cameron McNally for the Catawba County Partnership for Children. A ribbon cutting for the box was held in May.