LIBRARIES, from Page 19
compete or threaten your local public library? Not according to Chance Hunt of the Community Partnerships and Government Relations division of the Seattle Public Library. In fact, the public libraries view the little book boxes as a complement to what they provide.
“We think this grass-roots movement is terrific on several levels,” Hunt said. “First off, efforts such as these help to create a community of readers, which is one of the primary strategic goals of The Seattle Public Library. I would bet that many of the people who use these libraries are also regular public-library users.
“Secondly, people working together on these types of projects is a wonderful way to build community in ways that are fun and whimsical, that provide a way for people to connect in new ways,” he continued. “Finally, what better way to encourage library usage than to participate on this more personal level?”
Sherman said his family uses their local Seattle Public Library branch several times a week and that their Little Free Library is outside “as a gesture to our neighbors or anyone walking down the street — just a way to say, “Hi, glad you’re here. Have a free book.’”
“I think there’s something to be said for making books available at the neighborhood level, without any restrictions as to hours of operation,” Larios said.
He noted that the “patrons” of the Little
Usually mounted on a post planted into the ground, the designed Little Free Libraries each have their own identity, depending on the community they are in, the topic or genre that the host aims for and the person or group hosting the library on their property.
The books are kept behind a wood-framed Plexiglas door (Plexiglas is used for weather-related reasons); other box-like contraptions can be used, as well. They can be built with recycled materials and cost $50 to $100, or they can be purchased as a kit or already assembled, costing $250 to $500. —Alberto Lacao Jr.
Free Libraries tend to be people out walking with their kids or their dogs, or on their way to or from the bus stop.
“I think the small library allows for some serendipity while you’re out for a walk, doing something else,” he said.
For more information on Little Free Libraries, including advice on how to design and start one, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.
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