Young Mt. Laurel sisters start library on front porch to share love of reading

Known as “Library on the Lane,” the girls have collected hundreds of books for residents to borrow.

Sisters Audrey and Abigail Cashin love to read so much they started their own free library on the front porch of their house on Hillside Lane. Audrey, age 12 and Abigail, age 9, are inviting everyone to stop by “Library on the Lane” and check out a book.

Mt. Laurel residents have a new library in town.

To find it, folks only have to look for the house on Hillside Lane with hundreds of books on the front porch.

Known as “Library on the Lane,” the library is the work of young sisters Audrey and Abigail Cashin, who share not only a home, but a fondness for reading as well.

For the past few months, the two sisters have collected hundreds of books from garage sales, book swaps and donations. The girls collected so many books that former Harrington Middle School wood shop teacher Bill Friedman even built the girls their own two-sided rolling book cart.

Similar to a traditional brick-and-mortar library, the books now sit on the girls’ front porch for the public to borrow.

The library features books of all different genres and skill levels, along with stickers on each book to indicate age appropriateness. Interested readers can simply stop by between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., sign-out a book for up to two weeks and go on their way.

Audrey, age 12, describes the library as just an idea she had one day to share her love of reading with her community.

She said the library is for everybody, including neighbors, adults just driving by and kids on foot whose parents might be too busy working to take them to an actual library.

“Lots of times people say to us ‘I loved the book and I can’t wait to come back again’ and that just makes me smile because we put lots of effort in it and I’m just glad people are enjoying it,” Audrey said.

Abigail, age 9, said she also likes to see other people reading and is happy to help stock the shelves.

“Some of my friends come here and pick out books and we help them decide what book is good,” Abigail said.

In addition to helping their community, the library also helps the girls themselves. Each girl struggled while learning to read, particularly Abigail who is dyslexic.

With so many books on hand at any given time, the girls said it’s easier than ever to find something to read.

“Now I like more books because I used to not like any books, but I’ve learned to read more and find good books,” Abigail said.

Audrey also said she hopes the library will have a similar effect on other kids.

“I hope this will help people who maybe don’t like reading to maybe start liking reading like I did and my sister did,” Audrey said.

Looking toward the future, Audrey and Abigail said they want the library to continue to grow and for more people to visit.

“I definitely want to keep going with it,” Aubrey said. “I think maybe even more people from outside of different neighborhoods should come.”