If you’ve been by Friends School of Minnesota lately, you may have noticed something new as you walk the path up to the entryway of our school. A Little Free Library has sprouted up on the west side of our walkway.
Little Free Library is an organization that promotes reading for children, literacy for adults and libraries around the world. People or institutions can install a small “house” where books are loaned, borrowed or exchanged.
“It’s a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.” Little Free Library
Their mission is to:
- To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
- To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.
The plans for Friends School’s Little Free Library started with parents Cathy Jordan and Fred Dulles, who saw how Little Free Library’s mission reflected that of Friends School of Minnesota. They set out to donate a little free library to the school as a parting gift when their last child graduated from Friends School.
This started the conversation rolling and soon other parents jumped on board. A current parent Matt even offered to design and build our library. After months of conversation, planning and building, we installed our free little library at the front of the building.
Every Little Free Library is special. It is great to see all the unique designs all over town. FSM’s library has some interesting features too:
- It was designed and built with a bench for sitting.
- It includes display slots where signage and artwork can be displayed and rotated throughout the year.
- The wood used to build the library is on its third life! It is redwood that was originally salvaged from an old deck. FSM science teacher Steve Moe rescued it and turned it into a picnic table, which we used for many years at the back of the school until one fateful night a plow truck flattened it. Steve saved the wood and when a parent needed lumber to build our Little Free Library, it was offered up. Matt planed, reshaped and fashioned it into the beautiful fixture we now have at the front of our building.
The Little Free Library started as a great idea with a great purpose, it was built by great people using great materials, and it really is a great addition to the front of our school. Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen, from the initial idea to the first person to place a book inside.
Read on, neighbors!
Shane Zack, Admissions Director and Facilities Manager