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Little Free Library pops up in Johnstown's West End

A free library recently popped up in Johnstown’s West End, with the goal of getting kids and adults to read. It's one of thousands of book exchanges around the world. (WJAC)

JOHNSTOWN -- A free library recently popped up in Johnstown’s West End, with the goal of getting kids and adults to read. It's one of thousands of book exchanges around the world.

It's on Barron Avenue in the West End. You can take a book and return a book. It’s registered with the nonprofit"Little Free Library."

According to the nonprofit, as of 2017, there are more than 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and 70 countries.

Lindy Yutzy has boxes of books on her porch and in a library in her front yard.

"I have mystery books. I have crochet books. I have children's reading books," Yutzy said.

Little Free Library’s mission is to “promote a sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults and libraries around the world.”

"I don't think people today really sit down and take the time to spend time as a family together, to read together,” Yutzy said. “I read to my kids at bedtime and they all love books."

She said about a year ago she read a magazine article about Little Free Libraries that sparked her interest.

This year her son and granddaughter were visiting.

"He says 'Mom, we're going to build you one,'” Yutzy said. “So the neighbors gave me these windows and we built it. And I had to get a permit from the city of Johnstown as a new building permit."

The idea is you can take a book and return a book.

"There's been at least 35 books that have so far gone,” Yutzy said. “And I've only had this in here maybe a week."

She says neighbors have brought books. And even one man and his grandmother drove from Beaverdale to drop off books.

"He went through these books and he told me his favorite books when he was little,” Yutzy said. “He's 24 now and he said I hope somebody like me, can enjoy them like I did."

Yutzy wants her library to be a positive light among all the negative news.

"Sometimes you feel living here is getting you down and you just think you can't take another day in the city here with all the crime and everything that goes on,” Yutzy said. “And then something like this happens and you really appreciate your community, the people who live here."

It's a little free library on the corner for all to use and enjoy.

Yutzy says soon she'll receive a plaque with a number. And once she registers this number, Johnstown will be on the map for Little Free Libraries.

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