Our Little Free Library

Yesterday was the grand opening of our little free library.  As you can see from the photo, it has a spiderman theme- something my son, Omar, picked out.  These little libraries are popping up all over the US, but this is the first one on our block.  The community where I live initially banned them, as they were worried people would start putting nuisance structures all over front yards, I suppose.  But the concept of sharing books must have won them over.  Since July 2013, they are now allowed, albeit with many rules about the size and placement.

The first little free library was built in Hudson, WI in 2009, and gained the attention of a friend of mine, Rick Brooks.  He's been a community advocate of so many wonderful projects that make a community better, including community gardens.  Working with UW Madison, he's a great promoter of health projects, and this seemed to fit the bill of combining health with sharing the love of reading. Now there are more than 15,000 libraries across the US.  Funny how a shared idea can grow so exponentially!  You can see more of them at little free libraries website.  Be sure to click on the map tab to find the nearest library near your home.  There's also information about buying one or making your own.  Now that we have ours established, we'll go on-line to register it and it will show up on their map.

I was lucky to have a talented friend who knew how to build these.  He has built a dozen of them, and says each one is different.  It cost about $75 in materials to have it built, then we spent another $70 on paints.  The wood has to be sealed and painted with outdoor paint, but you can be as creative as you like.  For us, it was a group project.  Omar and I painted the initial layers of blue and red.  Then we called in the talent- my son and his friend.  They did the fancy webs and spiderman.  Inside there are stickers from a spiderman book that Omar used for decoration.
The initial coats of paint go on
Now the real artists get busy with a little "help" from Omar

Like everything we do in life, it's always fun to celebrate the little things.  We held a grand opening with a cake and live violin music.  I have the best friends and neighbors!  They brought books and shared cake with us.  It was a grand event for sure.  Omar was thrilled by the whole day.  It's already fun to see what books are there.  He's been selecting ones to take out and putting some from his own library in there.  I hope it will become a neighborhood destination where people can meet and share books, smiles, and ideas.
A lovely violin concert!
One of our favorite families biked over to donate books

A wedding cake decorated with spiderwebs?  PERFECT!!!


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