Guest Post: Share books in your community
Vicki, an HGGH Facebook page fan in Minnesota, posted a picture of her Little Free Library to the page a few days ago and I was so inspired by her, I asked her to guest post about her project.
It’s no surprise that I’m into community building activities and informal sharing opps. After Vicki agreed to be featured as a guest post’er, I received yesterday’s GOOD Magazine The Daily GOOD email (a daily digest featuring one good thing a day), and they too are spreading the good word on sharing books in the community. Without further ado, please welcome Vicki to the guest post fold!
I live in Roseville, Minnesota and in November both the Star Tribune and the St Paul Pioneer Press featured stories about the libraries that were starting to pop up around town. I immediately decided to put one up, in fact, I placed the post in the ground just after I read the story. (Winter was coming and I wanted get it into the ground before it froze.)
I love spreading the Little Free Library message. The idea started in nearby Hudson WI and Madison WI by Todd Bol and Rick Brooks as way to promote reading, literacy and community involvement. Their website has a lot of information about how to start one. I downloaded the basic plans from the website and started scrounging for supplies. It took me a few weeks to build it with my limited carpentry skills but I think it turned out well. I might have to redo the acrylic window on the door since I cut it a little small. The Little Free Library sends you a sign with a number when you register with them. Mine is #300. I’m planning on adding a couple more signs that say ‘take a book, read!’ on the sides so people walking by are encouraged to check it out (literally).
I had seen a box in St Paul with a solar panel to light the interior, so I added one to mine as well. I painted the exterior of my library to match my house and stocked it with about 15-20 books from my personal library, placing a bookmark I made inside each that tells the LFL story and invites participation. The initial books ranged from kids and young adult books, romance, mysteries, a couple of cookbooks, books with home tips and green cleaning ideas.
Since mine was installed a couple of weeks ago, I’ve had a handful of thank you notes in my mailbox. Three different people have knocked on my door to express their delight and thank me for putting it up, all neighbors I’ve never met before.
I live on a walking path around McCarrons Lake and there are a lot of people going by on foot, many stop to take a look. I often see people walking away looking at a book they’ve taken and new books are showing up every day from other people. I add a few every few days, too. Looking forward to springtime when there are more people out and about.