Have you noticed all the activity at the Little Free Library (LFL) lately?
It was constructed and installed by Cotuit resident Don Boynton, (pictured) and recently decorated by Cotuit artist and crafter Isabel Biasotti (pictured). The decorating design was inspired by students from the Cotuit Waldorf School. We are excited to have completed our building project ...and happy to announce that the LFL now has its official national number and national signage! The LFL is an outreach project of our Friends of the Cotuit Library Book Nook volunteers who stock the LFL with donated or used library books for the convenience of our community. Interested in Volunteer opportunities? Contact the Friends of the Cotuit Library.
|It’s little, it’s free … and it’s cool|
Written by Barbara Clark
October 2, 2015 Barnstable Patriot Article
There’s a brand new, very small building on the corner in front of the gray-shingled Cotuit Library. Is it a birdhouse? A residence for very small people? Turns out the newly shingled structure is a “Little Free Library,” one in a growing movement of tiny houses sprouting up worldwide over the past half-dozen years on main streets, at public libraries and even in people’s front yards. Each is chock full of books that are free for the taking.
According to the Little Free Library blog, in 2015 “there are over 32,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world, bringing curbside literacy home and sharing over 1 million books annually.” Each Little Free Library can be duly registered and trademarked, and those who join the “official” movement receive a charter sign and number and are registered on the Little Library world map online.
The little library bug has bitten Sally Schumann, longtime volunteer at Cotuit Library and a member of the Friends of Library board. As part of her volunteer job, Schumann is in charge of the library’s Book Nook, a popular area downstairs at the library where used books of all kinds are sold.
Schumann had noticed recently that “demand for children’s books was down,” and when she read about Little Libraries, she envisioned a tiny book house at Cotuit Library, which might be“an additional way to get books into the hands of kids.” She discussed the idea with the Friends board, which enthusiastically endorsed the project.
Buying one of the many already-built “small libraries” available online looked like an expensive purchase, but Don Boynton, the husband of Friends volunteer Sue Boynton, offered to “become the little library’s architect and builder.” Boynton acquired wood, shingles and paint and built the structure during the summer. It was quietly installed last week, in a perfect spot just at the corner of the driveway into the library from Cotuit’s Main Street, right under the sign “Cotuit Library: Established 1874.”
Schumann said the Friends group plans to choose a variety of books for the little space – something for everyone and for all ages, from “Tom Sawyer” to Harry Potter, and from cookbooks to fairy tales, biographies, action thrillers and classic fiction. She noted the village has “lots of walkers,” and the little library’s location right at the corner is perfect for “people taking walks to the beach, the post office and stores” to just stop and grab a book to take home. She also noted the fun and value of “owning your own book,” especially for kids.
The finishing touch for the new little building will be its exterior paint job. Cotuit children’s librarian Lenora Levine is working with teacher Mark Schofield and his fourth-grade class at Cotuit’s Waldorf School to create a lively and special design for the outside of the house -- one that will invite passersby to stop, take a look at what’s inside the little glass-paned door, and help themselves to a good read, free of charge.
Asked about how the library’s new addition fits in with the library’s mission, Schumann said she hoped the free book exchange will not only “promote reading in general” but assist in “evolving the community … doing outreach … and making people familiar with the Little Free Library” movement.
The new charter sign, to be provided by the Little Free Library organization, will read “Friends of Cotuit Library Little Free Library: Read … enjoy … share.”