Firethorne resident Meg Glenn is a former English teacher whose life-long passion for instilling the love of reading books into the minds of children has opened a new chapter in her life. Though she officially retired from the Katy ISD classroom in 2013, she now dedicates herself to placing books in the hands of avid young readers as the founder and steward of two Firethorne Little Free Libraries, outposts of an international movement to share literacy on a neighborhood basis.
“When I learned about the Little Free Library, a free neighborhood ‘lend-a-book/give-a-book’ program, I thought this would be a good link to education and reading in our own community,” explained Glenn. After extensive research, she presented a proposal to the Firethorne homeowner’s association board to fund a Free Little Library. “The board agreed to fund two of these libraries and there is talk of opening a third library for adults,” added the former educator, whose 21-year career included teaching reading and English on the elementary, middle school and high school levels.
Firethorne is the first master-planned community in the Katy/Fulshear area to house a Little Free Library. Its two Little Free Libraries offer 50 titles – hard and softbound – for children from birth through middle school. Open on the honor system 24/7, the mini- libraries are located by the main playground next to the Firethorne Community Center. As the registered steward, Glenn is responsible for the books being “safe, available, age appropriate and dry. The buck stops here,” said Glenn, a Firethorne homeowner since 2010.
The idea behind the Firethorne Little Free Library came to Glenn after she learned how her high school friend established a Little Free Library as a memorial tribute to her late mother in her Nashville, TN suburb. Firethorne’s new libraries are officially registered and featured on the nonprofit organization’s website map.
One Firethorne neighbor stated in the Free Little Library guest book, “With family visiting from Chicago. We really enjoyed finding the little library. We read ‘What Makes a Monet a Monet’ and ‘A Joyful Noise’ – so fun to read poetry with two voices.”
Titles include classics by Dr. Suess, Maurice Sendak, Sandra Boynton, Eric Carle and Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon in English and Spanish. More advanced readers will enjoy novels like Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, and The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson. Non-fiction books cover subjects ranging from art to reptiles. Children’s book donations are welcome, as well.
The Little Free Library took root in Hudson, Wisconsin in the summer of 2010. Now, five and one-half years later, there are more than 36,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide.
Firethorne blends the best nature has to offer: 150 acres devoted to parks and recreational amenities, a 12-acre lake with surrounding greenbelt, hike/bike trails, parks and playgrounds, tennis courts, Fitness Center, resort-style swimming pool, competitive swim center, a Clubhouse available to residents for entertaining and meetings, discovery-rich wildlife observation area and a natural bird habitat. Served by highly acclaimed schools in Katy ISD and Lamar Consolidated ISD, Firethorne combines the vibrancy of West Houston with the small-town charm of Katy/Fulshear. It is located near the crossroads of I-10 West and FM 1463, 10 and 15 miles west, respectively, of the Texas Medical Center-West Campus and Houston’s Energy Corridor.
For further information on the Firethorne Little Free Library, go to their Facebook Group Page. For info on Firethorne, go to http://www.firethorne.info, call 281-693-1010 or visit Firethorne: take I-10 West and exit Pin Oak to FM 1463.