Bad news seems to be everywhere; every day there is some new disaster or tragic event, and sometimes it feels like everything just keeps getting worse.
But then I check the Little Free Library stewards’ Facebook group, or I get an email with an amazing story of community connection, and I’m reminded that lots of good things happen every day, too. Below are five of my favorite steward stories.
Giving Kids a Brighter Future
“I was the victim of a shooting on July 26, 2016, while out playing Pokémon GO in a local park. In my hospital bed, I passed time coming up ideas of how I could improve my community and hopefully give the neighborhood kids some inspiration to look towards a brighter future.
“This Little Library, located in the Linden Park neighborhood of Columbus, is what I came up with. The design actually changed very little from its original conception, and I managed to make most of it from re-purposed materials!” – Little Free Library steward Gregory Wheeler, Library #61550, Columbus, Ohio
Creating opportunities to connect
“My elderly neighbor with Parkinson’s had been a recluse as his disease progressed. When we opened our Little Free Library, I passed out fliers inviting the neighborhood to join us.
“We had 20 neighbors and 5 dogs but [he was] by far our most relished guest. He came up the street pulling a wagon full of books to share! Everyone was delighted to see him!” – Steward Sue J.
Remembering a Loved One
“The Harriet Hays Memorial Little Free Library is dedicated to my grandmother who was a school teacher in Gaylord, Kansas for 37 years. She taught almost every member of my family in her classroom before retiring to run the town library for over a decade.
“Behind the books you’ll find a secret memorial with a photo and description of her and below next to the library, planted in the ground are flowers in what was her much used and loved crock pot. We invite everyone to stop by.” – Steward Toban Nichols, Library #21743, Los Angeles, California
Believing in the Importance of Reading
“Our trash man loves our Little Free Library. This is the third time I’ve seen him, and I finally got a photo coming back from a walk.
“He always stops, gets off the truck, goes through the kids books, and last week he took The Cat In The Hat. I am so happy there’s parents who … take the time to pick up a book to read to their child. Make time for that child, continue to believe in books, and literacy.” – Steward Isis O’Brien
No Child Should Be Deprived of Books
“I have launched the first Little Free Library in Bangladesh. 16 years back from now, there was a little girl who was curious about the world and felt connected to it through books. Reading was her escape from the chaos of life.
“But then again, getting access to books in those days was difficult. She knew this book shop where she could borrow books and return it in two days without a scratch. The shop was 30 minutes of walk from her home. Being a girl, her curfew to return home was as soon as her classes ended. However, her addiction to books made visit the bookshop often. When she returned home she was scolded by her parents for being late.
“I was that little girl and I always want to make access to books easier in my town so that no other little girl was deprived of broadening their imaginations or sharpening their knowledge. I also want to promote reading habit among my community’s children and how to be a good citizen through this Library in future. So, this is just the beginning!” – Steward Shaharima Parvin, Library #46931, Chuadanga, Bangladesh