Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The idea for Little Free Libraries started in 2009 in Hudson, Wis. That’s when Todd Bol built a small model of a one-room schoolhouse, set it on a post, and filled with it free books as a tribute to his mother’s love of reading.  

The appeal of the take-a-book, leave-a-book exchanges spread throughout the world.  This year, they came to Princeton, Illinois, in a big way.  

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Some students who graduated yesterday from Princeton middle school walked away with more than just a diploma -- they gained more knowledge about their own town.

David Gray has been teaching history at Logan Junior High School for six years. But Gray says this is the first time he assigned a project requiring his eighth-grade students to research historical landmarks in Princeton. The idea hit him when he was looking at travel brochures for the town.  

Guy Stephens/pixlr

Princeton is the county seat of Bureau County. It’s also the center for cultural activity that seems all out of proportion to its size.

Joni Hunt is Tourism Director for the City of Princeton. She says, no matter how you slice it, there’s a lot going on in this town of 7000.

“We have multiple platforms for artists and thespians and musicians, so it doesn’t matter what age you are, or what type of culture you’re interested in, there’s something for you here.”