The Hancock and Hawkins County Health Departments have partnered with the College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University to provide three community lending libraries located at each of the health departments.

They are called “Little Libraries” and will be located outside in Rogersville and Church Hill and inside at Sneedville.

“We know that children growing up in homes without age-appropriate books are about three years behind in reading level compared to children in homes with lots of books,” said County Health Director Garnet Southerland. “This is a great way to support our local families by providing access to books in hopes of fostering a love of reading among youth.”

Research has shown that making books available to children is one of the most successful ways to increase reading levels. Little Libraries make books accessible to people of all ages in the community because they are free. They are stocked by staff at the health department and community partners.

If individuals or organizations within the community would like to donate new or gently used children’s books, please contact one of the health departments.

For more information about Little Libraries or to make donations of books, call the Hancock County Health Department at 423-733-2228, Church Hill Health Department at 423-357-5341 or the Rogersville Health Department at 423-272-7641. Health Departments are open Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.