There’s a new Little Free Library on a corner down the way from my house. It recently was dedicated to the memory of the owner’s mother. “Sara’s Library” also has recently acquired a small bench on which readers are invited to rest as they peruse the library’s offerings.
Sara’s family had minimal tools and carpentry experience, so they went online to purchase one of the several DIY kits made just for the average person to enter into this kind of labor of love. During construction, they had many stop-and-chat cars go by along with every dog walker and even many serious bicycle groups. It quickly became clear that neighbors and passers-by found this generous contribution to our little neighborhood to be a welcome gathering place.
Sara’s daughter and widowed husband served as carpenters/hole diggers/cement mixers/painters for the project. They were deeply serious in their efforts to construct something to be proud of and about which their mother and wife would have been delighted. They took care to place it at a height that would offer a view inside by small children, but high enough for adults to peruse without having to bend down too far. Further, the family filled the library with book choices that were not just delights for school kids, but that would also capture the imaginations of readers of all ages.
Every time I pass by the little library, I notice books have been taken, added or maybe just shuffled around, clearly indicating Sara’s Library has captured the imaginations of and use by many. This is really cool because ours is a neighborhood in transition. Old folks are moving out into homes with no stairs, and their mostly small, but nonetheless sturdy 1950s vintage houses are being re-populated by younger people, many who have small children. The library is such a boon for these new families.
One day last summer, during a very rare rain shower, my wife went for a walk. When she came to Sara’s Library she stopped, browsed, sat and read one of its titles as the raindrops tapped on the canopy of tulip tree leaves under which the library was constructed. She returned refreshed from the experience and bubbling with compliments for the family that took the money and time to make this contribution to our small subdivision.
After drafting this blog post, I walked down to check on the library. The first thing I noticed was an old book tucked all the way to the left. “Runaway Pony, Runaway Dog” had a 1963 copyright and between two pages was a tasseled bookmark that had the date 1925 written on it. That book and the bookmark were someone’s treasures donated to neighbors and friends, children and adults. THAT is exactly what libraries are for: sharing the joy of reading with everyone we can.