Last year we met Evan Peterson, his mom Heidi and the rest of the very cool family of stewards behind Little Free Library #21461, Evan’s Port No. 1. You can learn more about how we met them here and check out their Library’s Facebook page here.
Evan, Heidi and crew are some of the most active and creative stewards around, constantly coming up with fun new activities they can do with their neighbors and their Library.
Below they will share three helpful hints that they have used to advertise their Library (it can be tricky to get people to actually use a Little Library!), make it more visible and protect their guest book from, er…over-enthusiastic visitors.
Evan’s Port No. 1, located in Spring Valley, Wisconsin, has been open for nearly nine months.
Evan and family have been coming up with ideas that work for them and posting their experiences in the Facebook Group for Registered Stewards. One problem that often comes up in the Facebook group is how to stop your guest book from “walking away” or disappearing in the night.
Evan and family suggest mounting a handy cable clamp and retractable cable key ring on the inside of your Library to help secure your guest book.
Evan found these supplies at his local hardware store. Fasten the clamp with a single screw on the inside of the Library, near the top. That way it’s out of the way of book-seeking visitors and the guest book is securely fastened to the Library to discourage anyone from removing it.
Evan and crew also advertise their Library and explain how it works with reusable, laminated signs that they stick on the door and windows. The possibilities are endless with a little imagination and a few home office supplies! Evan likes to use a 3M Scotch Thermal Laminator like this one, 3M Laminating Pouches like these and clear 3M Outdoor Command Strips to make his signs. (An alternate laminating product to try is the Peel & Stick Laminate contact adhesive by Duck Brand, which is clear and heat-free).
For signage, try using pre-made die-cuts that you can find wherever school supplies are sold. You can type up or create signs yourself, too. Just follow the instructions that came with your machine to laminate the item you’re working on, then apply clear adhesive strips (like 3M Command Strips) to the front corners of your newly laminated sign(s). Gently press the sign(s) on the inside window or door of your Little Library and voila! You’re all set to go.
Laminated window signs hold up in all kinds of weather and they can be trimmed to fit your Library. They attract visitors, they can explain how the Library works and they are easy to remove, file and use again as needed.
Evan and crew have used laminated signs to display details about their Little Library, like a mini bio, upcoming events, recommended reading lists, a local Little Free Library directory and more!
One last helpful hint from Evan and crew has to do with making your Library more visible. This is especially important if your Library is installed along a street or a path where lots of bikers, walkers, cars, snowplows, etc. pass by.
To get more people to see your Library, try making a reflector, like Evan did. Only a few household items are needed: a clean, standard canning lid, reflective adhesive tape and about 8 inches of rust-resistant wire. Apply the reflective tape to fit both side of the lid, punch a hole and thread the wire through.
Then with a twist of the wire, it’s ready to slip on a clip (something like a 3M Command Outdoor clip) and your reflector will hang near your Library! Evan has used clips to hold solar lights in place, too. Evan and crew hope you find his helpful hints handy!
If you have any tips or tricks, please share them in the comments below.