Tag Archives: Little Free Library

New Little Free Library box

One of the things I love most about my house is that it has a Little Free Library in the front yard. It’s been up about a year and a half now and originally looked like this:

My lovely hubby made it for me. The thing is, S. isn’t a woodworker. Need a bike frame welded? He’s your man. Giant birdhouse for books? Apparently not so much. As cute as the above box was, it didn’t stand up to the weather well. It was peeling and looking worse for wear.

So, this summer his uncle made me a new, more robust one. Look at that! It’s not as cute, I admit, but it’s a Mack truck of a library.

It holds a lot more books. I’m talking like 3 times as many, once I added a shelf and if I do double rows! All of which is pretty exciting to me (and hopefully my neighbors).

So, if anyone happened to be following the shelfies, expect a new look from here on out. As always, if you’d like to donate a book to be included among them, drop me a line. I’m especially interested in any sort of #OwnVoices; encouraging others to read them by keeping them available. But the offer is open to everyone.

Now, I’m off to fill all that lovely shelf space with books, books, books.

Little Free Library design competition, hosted by Space

I got to do a fun little thing this afternoon. I attended the judging party for this year’s Little Free Library Design Competition, hosted by Space (a local architecture firm), in conjuncture with Saint Louis’ general Design Week.

Poster

I am a book hoarder, a manic reader, and a Little Free Library steward, but not part of the design community. This means I was able to stand back and observe as an outsider. (And check out Mayana‘s nacho bar and Narwhal’s urban ices!) What I discovered, other than that a Bellini slushie is a hard thing to pass up, even if you do have to drive home, is that Saint Louis has an engaged and open community of designers that seemed to truly enjoy getting together and giving back to the community.

Roughly a dozen groups submitted Little Free Libraries for consideration. And, for me, seeing them was the best part of the evening. It’s amazing how many ways the same idea can go.

I wasn’t able to get pictures over everything. I missed a few info cards along the way. But this was largely because, by the time I thought to take pictures, there were quite a few people there and I didn’t want to obnoxiously elbow my way in. But that also means there was a pleasantly positive turnout for the event. Win! But here is an example of what was there.

It’s worth noting that the heart shaped one was drawn by an art student at Adam’s elementary and then turned into a library that will hopefully be placed at the school. See, that’s just cool community building. As is the competition in general. The houses will be passed to the  St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, who will distribute them around the city and officers will hopefully use them to build and strengthen relationships with neighborhood children. (Please, please let this be a step toward community policing. Please!)

I was also a little camera happy with the cool posters hung around the office.

Anyhow, it was a fun chance to see what the community is up to and a step toward sharing literacy. As I even donated a few paperbacks, there was some playing with books too. All in all, I think everyone deserves a trophy.

trophies

……Except you Mr. Parking Warden. You may have just been doing your job, but I don’t feel like giving you a trophy for it.

ticket

 

Wingmann Reading Park Dedication and a Review

Picture snagged from Facebook since mine came out blurry. Last week, one of my best friends took me to Wingmann Park in Old North Saint Louis to see the urban installation her daughter designed and fabricate for (what I think is) the first urban reading park in the city. I cannot tell you how much I love this idea. It is so right up my alley it’s almost painful.

Wingmann Reading ParkTwo years ago, the neighborhood installed a Little Free Library to encourage neighborhood children to read. (There are some lovely pictures of it here.) But there was nowhere for them to sit while they did so, or when the neighborhood held book club.

Wingmann ParkThus was apparently born the idea of a sculpture that would double a seating, and a number of amazing people got together, found funding, found volunteers, found donations and made it happen. I won’t try and list all those wonderful people. I’d only make a hash of it, but suffice it to say I was suitably impressed by their generosity, dedication Wingmann LFLand success. I LOVE to see communities come together to make this sort of thing work. It’s such a reminder of how enduring and endearing the human spirit really is.

Well, today was the dedication ceremony and since I adore this idea so much, have a personal (if tenuous) connection to the artist, and it was a surprisingly moderate day I took my girls (5 & 8) to listen to the speeches, see the ribbon cutting, applaud the efforts, try out the seating,  and do some outdoor reading. It was really lovely. I mean really, really lovely. 

And while my eight year old is perfectly willing to run off and read to herself, my five year old needs a little help. So, she and I read Scarlett’s Journey Home, by Mary Ellen Bryan (it was even signed), which means I get to include a review and stay on theme for the blog. Bam!

Description from Goodreads:
Sweet Scarlett Penguin travels far to find a place where she belongs. Join in on the adventure as Scarlett makes new friends, discovers distant lands, and learns to look deep inside her heart where she uncovers her own unique spark along her journey home.

Review:
This was a sweet little book about finding home, learning to trust, recognizing that just because someone looks different doesn’t mean they can’t become your friends, the warmth of the human heart and the making of community (especially apropos for our morning). Easy to read, pictures that kept my five-year-old interests and ended on a fluffy feel good note.