Steward Spotlight: Autumn Stephen

By Margret Aldrich

Autumn Stephen and her husband knew that families in their new neighborhood of Bowling Green, Kentucky, would be nervous about going back to school in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. So they created Library Day! “We created Library Day as a way to welcome our community of children back to school.  It was our hope that Library Day would keep kids excited about reading and learning regardless of whatever else was going on,” says Autumn.

So what exactly is Library Day? We reached out to Autumn and asked her to share more about this special event, along with some stewardship tips and tricks, in this Steward Spotlight blog post!

What inspired you to start a Little Free Library book-sharing box?

“I have wanted to be the steward of a Little Free Library from the moment I first saw one back in 2011. I just love the idea of books being always available for children and adults to peruse. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the appropriate space for one until recently. As soon as I was able, I had my Little Free Library #95849 installed. I consider this to be one of the best decisions of my life!”

(Find Autumn’s library and thousands of others on the Little Free Library world map!)

What type of books are most popular in your library?

“In our neighborhood, there are many families with school-age children so picture books, leveled readers, and chapter books for elementary grade students are very popular.”

How do you keep your library stocked with books?

“As a former elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom, I have a large library of children’s books in my possession. Those books have really come in handy when stocking my Little Free Library. Also, I recently became familiar with Interstate Books4School and have bought many titles from their website over the last several months.”

What is Library Day and how does it work?

“My husband and I created Library Day as a way to welcome our community of children back to school. We put up colorful decorations and made sure there were lots of great books available (we had over 200 titles). We posted the information about this event on our neighborhood Facebook page.

“The turn out was wonderful! We had so many families stop by, and children of all ages were able to pick out several books to take home and enjoy. We had the event run all day, so there would be plenty of time and space available for proper social distancing. Everything went well, and the atmosphere of the event was really positive and uplifting.”

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting a little library?

“Starting a Little Free Library is an incredibly rewarding and satisfying experience. If you have a space available for one as well as a little extra time to keep it stocked and clean, I encourage you to go for it. It is such a wonderful way to give back to your community, and the smiles on your patrons’ faces will make it all worthwhile!”

If you’d like to join the world’s largest grassroots book-sharing network, start a Little Free Library today! 

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