The books at Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library have many stories to tell. Because of the compassion and generosity of one local family, the library’s collection of books and stories is growing.
Bryant and Kara Carroll are the parents of two daughters, Ruth and Ada, and a son, Anthony, who passed away in 2021. In honor of their son’s memory, the Carrolls made a donation that allowed the library to purchase 35 new children’s books, which are now available for check-out.
The books purchased in honor of Anthony are a collection of the Carroll family favorites. Bryant and Kara have always shared their love for reading with their children, and so many of the family's core memories are tied to books. Now, with their collection available at Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library, the Carrolls can share their passion for reading and Anthony's legacy with an entire community.
Bryant and Kara adopted Anthony in 2020, when he was only seven months old. Prior to his adoption, Anthony was diagnosed with a serious heart condition which required frequent medical attention. During the family's consistent hospital visits, the Carrolls found a safe haven in books.
"When we were in the hospital, we would just read," said Mrs. Carroll. "When Anthony was sedated, he was able to hear us, but he couldn't respond. During these times, my husband and I would bring stacks of books with us and read to him."
One of the family’s favorite books to read to Anthony at the hospital, “I Love You Till The Cows Come Home” by Kathryn Cristaldi, is now part of the library's collection.
In 2021, shortly after his first birthday, Anthony passed away. In honor of his life, the Carrolls wanted to continue to share their love of books with others.
“When we were thinking of how we can honor Anthony, we thought about the library and that letting other kids experience the love for books that we have at home was a good idea,” said Mrs. Carroll.
The family plans to continue building their collection at Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library and supporting the library as patrons and donors.
"We visit Anthony's grave once a week, and we always take one of our library books,” said Mrs. Carroll. “We check out a book that we think Anthony would have liked, or we let Ruth pick one of her favorites to read while we are there."
According to Library Director Joy Garretson, this new collection of books will be a great benefit to the library and the many children who will read them.
“Anthony's life and the Carrolls’ compassion lives on through their collection,” said Garretson. “Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library is honored to be a part of his memory and share their story.”