Saturday, July 26, 2014

A "This and That" kind of Saturday morning

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." 
                  - Marcus Tullius Cicero

"A Library is a delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life."
                   - Norman Cousins

"Everything you need for a better future and success has already been written.  And guess what?  All you have to do is go to the library."
                                                                                                                    - Henri Frederic Amiel

Not too long ago I reviewed this book:  "Goo and Spot in the Do Not Wiggle Riddle."

The author, Elsa Takaoka is informing her readers that it will be available free of charge on Amazon July 25-27th.  This picture book, for kids 3-5 discusses the art of teaching active listening skills.  Please check it out.

Ever heard of "Free Little Libraries?"  In it's most basic form, a Free Little 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.  It is a "take a book, return a book" gathering place where neighbours share their favourite literature and stories.

The idea was popularized in Hudson, Wisconsin when Todd Bol mounted a wooden container designed to look like a school house on a post on his lawn as a tribute to his mother, who was a book lover and school teacher.  Bol shared his idea with his partner Rick Brooks who found many efficient ways to spread the word and the idea spread rapidly.  As of February 2013, all 50 states and 40 countries worldwide have been involved in this literary program.  The original goal was the creation of 2,150  Free Little Libraries, which has surpassed  the number of libraries founded by Andrew Carnegie.  As of January 2014, there are over 15, 000 Free Little Libraries worldwide, and counting.  An estimated 1,650,000 books were donated and borrowed from 2010-2013.

Libraries have been donated to rural areas that have no libraries of their own, or that have been ravaged by disasters.  Each Library is uniquely built incorporating materials from the community it is located in.
                                                                     - source

Take a peek at these and if you Google "Little Free Libraries" (images) watch out and stand back......

Living proof about the importance, fun and responsibility of stewarding such a her own words....

Jean Fischer is a multi-published freelance writer of nonfiction, fiction, and educational material.  She was the former editor and creative manager at Golden Books Publishing Company. Here is her experience erecting a "Little Free Library."

I’ve settled in as the library steward, and this is what I’ve learned, so far, about how a Little Free Library works:
1. If you build it, they will come.
Readers found and began using the library right away. And, wow, do they use it! Last summer, I stocked the library with my own books and books that I found in thrift shops. For a while, those books made up the library’s “catalogue.” After readers became comfortable using the library, they began donating their own books. Today, much of the Little Free Library’s catalogue comes from its patrons.
2. Kids like it.
When I set up my Little Free Library, last summer, I put books for grownups on the top shelf and kid’s books on the bottom. The kid’s books quickly disappeared. I discovered that unless parents intervene, kids forget to return what they borrow. I made the decision not to restock the kid’s bookshelf, and, soon, kids, and parents, too, wondered why there were no children’s books in the Little Free Library. Some of the “borrowed” books came back, and parents began donating books for kids.
3. Bad weather doesn’t keep readers away.
I live in Wisconsin, and winters here are snowy and cold. But that didn’t stop die-hard readers. They came, bundled in their parkas, mittens, and snow boots. Some even came in cars! So, I made sure that the library was stocked with books for cozy, fireside reading.
4. Dogs like it, too!
The library is popular with dog walkers, so I’ve added a plastic jar with dog treats and a small sign on the door: Doggie Treats Inside. Dogs are no dummies! After that first treat, they drag their people down the block to the Little Free Library. The dog treats have proven to be a great marketing tool. It forces those who might not stop otherwise to open the door and see what’s inside.
5. It’s not MY Little Free Library.
The library has taken on a life of its own. Readers aren’t shy anymore about opening the door to see what’s inside. They bring their friends. One lady is our self-appointed “tidier.” She shows up every week to tidy up the books, separating the hardcovers from the paperbacks and arranging them by size!
I’ve learned to stay in the background. I think that is what a good steward does. I check on the library often and stock it with bookmarks and doggie treats. But otherwise, I’m like the librarian sitting at her desk ready to help whenever I’m needed. The less I intervene, the more MY Little Free Library becomes EVERYONE’S Little Free Library
And that is exactly what it’s supposed be.
Have a wonderful day everyone and remember to read on and read always!  

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