If I?were to offer you and your community the chance to own a library, would you take it?
Thanks to a Wisconsin-based organization, I can do that very thing.
However, before you start clearing lots and pouring the concrete floor, you need to know a little more about the library program of which I?am writing.
It’s called the Little Free Library, and it could in fact be placed in just about any place one could imagine.
Setting on a 4”x4” post, the Little Free Library offers a chance for a community or neighborhood a chance to improve literacy and create a sense of community togetherness around a library no bigger than an old fruit crate.
This past Sunday afternoon, I traveled to Vesta to watch the first southwest Minnesota community receive its Little Free Library brought by the organization’s co-founder Tod Bol.
Through the efforts and proddings of Vesta native Audrey Kletscher-Helbling, a Little Free Library was erected next to the Vesta cafe, and through this library the community has the chance to access books free of charge, read them and then return them. In the meantime, they also have the opportunity to share their own books through the library by placing them in the same location.
So, after finishing with the set-up of the Vesta library, Bol said he had an extra Little Free Library in his vehicle and he wondered if there was any way he could leave that with someone who would take on the role of finding it a home.
Being a vocal supporter of libraries of all sizes, I?jumped at the chance to take on this role.
So, right now in my office a Little Free Library is waiting to find its new home. The library is made from an old cranberry crate and has its own mounting post. With a simple hole in the ground, a few mounting screws (which are included in the deal) and a desire for a community to have its own library again, one can make that dream come true.
So, if you have an interest in having your own Little Free Library, send me a request along with the reason why your community thinks they need it. Those requests can be e-mailed to email@example.com.
Honestly, I envision one of the area communities which does not have a library of its own as a great candidate for this program.
I?also think with the reductions in bookmobile services in the area, this could help to fill that void. There are a few parameters in having your neighborhood or community become the site for a Little Free Library. So, before making that commitment you need to visit the Little Free Library Web site at www.littlefreelibrary.org to see what kind of commitment is required.
After I?have received requests for the library, a panel of judges is going to help me determine which community or neighborhood is going to be selected.
Once that selection has been made, I plan to bring the Little Free Library to that community and help with setting it up. I?am even planning to provide some of the first books for the library.
Requests need to be submitted to me by July 31 and the hope is to have the library in place sometime in early August.
I?know Belview has also received a Little Free Library, and plans are to have it erected along the main drag in town soon.
A program like this not only can help a community’s residents become better, more informed readers, but this kind of thing can really help to bring a community or a neighborhood together. If you have questions about the program, give me a call.