Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

domingo, abril 01, 2012

Help Me Make A Little, Free Library in Spencertown

I was inspired in early March by an NPR story about creating “little free libraries”:

Two Wisconsin men are on a mission to break Andrew Carnegie's record of creating over 2,500 libraries. They're enlisting the help of book lovers and artists in neighborhoods across the country to help reach that goal, one "Little Free Library" at a time…

Building a library may sound like a massive task. A physical library, we mean, where you could go and borrow a book. Well, here's how some people are making it easy. They're thinking small, say, the size of a large birdhouse. Put a little library on a short post like a mailbox, put it in your front yard and fill it up with books. Then people can help themselves for free.

I got the idea that an old school bus shelter near my house might be a great little library. It was built by a neighbor, who is a wonderful home builder, when his daughter was young. She’s now over thirty. It’s still entirely sound. I don’t think anyone’s really using it as a shelter. When it’s raining most kids wait for the bus in their parents’ cars. But I didn’t follow through with the idea. I got distracted.

Then today, the idea emerged again. I read an essay about the same subject at dailyKos.

So I went out and took a good hard look at the school bus shelter. Would this idea work? Here’s what it looks like today:

I think this can work. The shelter doesn’t need very much to get started. At the very least, it needs to be swept out. And the old wasps’ nests need to be removed. And it needs some signage saying it’s now a library, that you can take a book or drop one off. No fines for lateness. No signing any paperwork. Just enjoy. So the library could start being used in its most basic form next weekend after a good sweeping.

Here, dear reader, is where you come in. It would be even better if the library had some shelves on the walls so it could hold more books. And it would be nice if it had a coat of paint on the inside to make it bright. And it might be nice if it had a solar light inside so you could see the books when it’s dark. And it would be nice if it had some publicity so that people would actually know it was there.

I’d like some help on this. I can hold books at my house until this is up and running. And I’m happy to help with any of the things that need to be done. But it would be most fun if a bunch of people made small contributions toward the project. Not cash, not money contributions. Nope. Maybe you have some boards that could be shelves. Maybe you have some paint. Maybe you have some lights. Maybe you have some time.

Let’s aim to have this functioning on some level by Good Friday, April 6, 2012.

Update (4/1/12, 2:34 pm ET):

Update (4/1/12, 3:45 pm ET):
Hah. Easy as can be. Swept it out, got rid of the debris (swallows nest, wasp nests, spider webs), put up some signage on paper, added some books, and presto chango! Spencertown Little, Free Library is up and running:

If you're reading this and want to help, you can drop off books at the library, at the corner of Beale Road and State Route 203 in Spencertown. If you want to put up some shelves, that's great. Maybe it needs a little paint, too. I'm happy to help with anything, but if you want to just show up and make improvements on your own, that's wonderful also. Need an extra hand? Drop in or call me.

Etiquetas: , ,