She’d heard of other communities setting up free small libraries in their downtown areas, and was driven to set up one in Chapel Hill.
One of her friends suggested using some of the green newspaper stands around town that hold free periodicals.
McGurk said she would take over the empty ones and turn them into free libraries.
In the early stages of the free libraries, McGurk said she would buy books from library book sales, but she no longer needs to because of community participation.
“I started off stocking them with books, but it wasn’t long before I would go with a bag of books and it would already be full,” McGurk said.
“I think right away it caught on with the community to share books.”
The first two free libraries began in January 2013, and a third was added a year later, she said.
They are located on West Franklin Street near Mediterranean Deli, by the bus stop on North Columbia Street and on East Franklin Street by Bevello.