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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Motlow Smyrna campus opens Little Free Library to assist adult students with children

Nov. 19, 2015

Adult students with children are faced with unique challenges when attempting to complete college administrative requirements such as registration, speaking with an advisor, or visiting the college library or bookstore. The Motlow State Community College Smyrna campus has created a unique way to assist this growing adult student population.

The Smyrna campus has recently opened a 'Little Free Library' specifically designed to provide a means to occupy student's children during those times when the student must conduct business on campus. Located in the administration building inside the lobby, the library offers a variety of free items, including children's books, crayons, and coloring books, that have been donated by faculty and staff.

"After observing many small children in the front lobby during registration and other times, I had the idea for a children's library to help keep the children occupied while their parents conducted the necessary business to advance their college careers," said Mary Matthews, a biology instructor at the Smyrna Center.

The Little Free Library provides a comfortable and cozy setting for the children in a learning environment. The library is complete with a book shelf and two children-sized chairs. Additionally, another library has been created in the lobby of the Science, Technology and Allied Health (STH) building for older children of adult students.

Fellow Motlow Smyrna employees Karen Hudson, Debbie Simpson and Cheryl Hyland assisted Matthews in creating the libraries for both younger and older children.

The 'Little Free Library' is registered nationally on the Little Free Library website ( and is one of only two such libraries in Smyrna. The concept is helping pave the way for more adult students with children to benefit from an education at MSCC.

The library, which is also being used as a learning resource by early childhood education majors and several local daycares, would appreciate any donations that would to be used to keep the library bookshelves full. Those wishing to learn more about the 'Little Free Library' or to make donations to the library, contact Mary Matthews at, Debbie Simpson at, or call 615-220-7822.

The Motlow State Community College 'Little Free Library' is open and ready to assist adult students with small children. The library is the result of a collective effort by Motlow Smyrna campus employees, from left, Karen Hudson, administrative secretary; Mary Matthews, biology instructor; Debbie Simpson, education instructor; and Cheryl Hyland, interim assistant vice-president of student affairs.