RMU senior donates small library to Yorktown


Photo credit: Gage McCall

Michael Delehanty

Carrie Barnhart, a senior cyber forensics major at Robert Morris University, recently donated a small library, placed in Yorktown residence hall.

The Johnstown native’s original idea was to start an online book club. After thinking about that idea, she quickly changed her mind and came up with the library idea. She wanted people to read the books that they wanted to read. She also thought that it would be better if people got to read at their own pace, instead of having to keep up with the pace of the rest of the club.

Overall, Barnhart’s main objective was for people to participate and read. She easily gained support from her roommate, Ducky Gootz, and from Yorktown area coordinator Charles Forrester. Both Barnhart and Gootz have also credited Evan Kinney, Tyler Stewart and Sarah Jackson for their success.

“Our literacy level is not the best in Johnstown,” Barnhart said. “I figured I’d get people to try and read more.”

Barnhart donated some of her own books, along with books from people from her hometown, Forrester and Gootz. Barnhart came up with the idea based off of “Little Free Library.” How Barnhart’s library works is if you take a book, you leave a book. The main point of that idea is that if someone sees a book they like, they can keep it and hopefully, they will leave a book that they think someone else would like.

“I noticed, in the beginning, that people were just taking books because they didn’t have one to leave,” said Barnhart. “We replenished them until people could return and, then, drop off their own.”

Both students see this as a great way to save money. If you don’t like the book you picked out, you can return it and have not wasted your money. If you love the book, all you have to do is replace it with another book, no charge.

Both Barnhart and Gootz also see this as a great opportunity. It is not just a learning experience of reading, but of trying new things. Barnhart says she is very guilty of judging a book by its cover. Also, Gootz says it’s a good way to read new things you wouldn’t normally pick out.

“This is a really good opportunity to grow for all of us,” Gootz said. “We read things we wouldn’t necessarily consider before because that’ll be what’s available to us in the sharing library.”

All in all, both Barnhart and Gootz wanted to create something where students could evolve on their reading, while also making new friends and creating new connections. They both hope the sharing library is here for many years after they graduate.