It was the summer of 2015 when I saw my first Little Free Library on Silver Sands beach in Milford. I remember that excitement, finding a book to read on the beach. I could not wait to get back to the hills and put books in my front yard. I found a cupboard at a local tag sale, filled it with books and added a sign. FREE BOOKS. TAKE A BOOK. LEAVE A BOOK. Since I live on Rt. 109, people drive by on the way to the corn stand, to Popey’s ice cream shoppe or to the Morris beach. It is the country version of hunting and gathering on the scenic route, picking up the local goods. I also set up a booth at out the farmers market to spread the word of my grass roots mission, sharing books in our community.
The Little Free Library of StoneHill turns 5-years-old this year. StoneHill is the name of my property here in Morris. The house sits on the bottom of the hill. We have stonewalls to help divert rainwater away from our home. I am the steward of the Little Free Library #32311. As steward I make sure the book box is filled with books and is in good condition. Having a chapter number registers it with the Little Free Library, non profit organization in Hudson, Wisconsin. Todd Bol founded this organization just over 10-years-ago, and this year the 100,000th Little Free Library will be registered.
Those of you know my story, know what happened — “The Case of the Missing Little Free Library.” Someone drove in and took all the books, the cabinet, and the signs. It was an setback, but the community rallied and I had 300 books at my door within days. The Facebook post about the theft went viral and I received a email from Meg Hanson at Little Free Library in Hudson Wi. We spoke after that and she gifted my the charter # 32311 for the new book box which was built with many hands. Then, Harvey Hubbell saw my booth at South Farms.
Harvey offered his farm, Chanticleer Acres in Litchfield, so we could form a team and build little free libraries. Materials were donated, carpenters joined us, as well as Boy Scout Troop # 28. What an amazing build day! After 4 hours and 30 people, we built and refurbished 16 boxes to be filled with books in the Litchfield Hills. They were then painted by local artists and planted on farms, restaurants, churches, bakery’s, hardware stores, pet stores, lakes, and even at the Morris Public Library. The community center in Morris has a Lego Lending Library so there will be no confusion with the Library return box. My Little Free Library on Route 118, West Street is dedicated to Greyson Gregory, a local boy who loved to share books and smiles.
This will be an exciting year for us at Little Free Library at StoneHill. We have plans to place a library at every school in Waterbury. To help with this effort to sponsor a Library, help with painting them, and donating books is needed.
I am also looking for students who need community service to help with our major event on June 7, “The Wonderland Ride.” Think of all things Alice and Wonderland. We have big ideas for the Little Book Boxes.
Today while writing my first column I had a visitor taking a book. It never gets old, I smile every time.
Rose Buckens, aka the Bookwoman, has made it her mission to provide Little Free Libraries across the state of Connecticut. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.