A year ago I learned of the Little Free Library movement and decided to get involved. If you are unaware of what the Little Free Library is, it’s a non-profit organization that encourages people to provide books for children in their own neighborhood. The concept is simple. Build a box. Place books in it. Make it accessible for children.
Well, I never do anything “simple”. So I knew i was going to have to “Chopperize” my box. I began by thinking of what a current child’s life is like. Today’s children have had computers in their entire lives. They know how to work smart phones and probably never saw a wall hung touch tone phone, let alone a rotary one! Cable tv with 100 channels is the norm for this generation. The phase “Move the rabbit ears.” to them probably refers to trying to kick the bunny in the back yard. And with Wikipedia online, I’m betting most kids rarely walk into a library. In their mind, a library building probably goes back to the days of riding in horse and carriages. So I thought about making the box look like an old school house from the days of old.
The construction of it was made mostly from ¾” and ½” plywood for the walls and roof. To protect the roof from the weather, I used cedar door shims to act as shingles on top. Building it was the easy part for me. It was the painstaking part of priming and painting that took the longest. There was a far amount of trim on this library, and I used four different colors and applied the paint with a tiny brush. I used two coats of Behr exterior paints. I also used Modern Masters Masterclear Supreme waterborne clear coat for an extra protection from the harsh outdoor elements.
And so now, a year later, how did it do? Extremely well in two ways. One, the clear coat has done a great job at holding up in the elements. No peeling or flaking. The color still looks vibrate red too. The only upkeep I need to do is change the school bell up top. It rusted. But i bought it at a Dollar Store, so what can I except?
The second way has been the exceptional response of the Little Free Library. Kids, not just from my block, but surrounding blocks all come. And the parents have been particularly gracious by donating all of their children’s old books. I have so many now I’ve had to put a box on the front porch. Mmmmmmm…….Maybe i need to build a skyscraper Little Free Library?
I first learned woodworking from library books, now it’s my way to give back. Still to date, we are the only Little Free Library in Toledo. I wish others in this area would join in. Also, I hope all of you reading this consider making one in your neighborhood no matter where you live. In this wonderful world, all children should be able to play, read, and of course……..DANCE!