Making a Little Free Library

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The Lansing Street Little Free Library is now open and fully stocked with a range of topics and media, mostly courtesy of Librarian Jude and Book-Guy Bob.

Little Free Libraries


A bit of the history from the website…

"In the beginning—2009–Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse. It was a tribute to his mother; she was a teacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it.  … They were inspired by many different ideas:

  • Andrew Carnegie’s support of 2,509 free public libraries around the turn of the 19th to 20th century.
  • The heroic achievements of Miss Lutie Stearns, a librarian who brought books to nearly 1400 locations in Wisconsin through “traveling little libraries” between 1895 and 1914.
  • “Take a book, leave a book” collections in coffee shops and public spaces.
  • Neighborhood kiosks, TimeBanking and community gift-sharing networks
  • Grassroots empowerment movements in Sri Lanka, India and other countries worldwide."

Lansing Street Library Fabrication

The project was an opportunity for some shopwork practice for Nelson, a buddy of Cyrus, a Junior Wizard and a budding architect.

The tasks encompassed reading and interpreting scale drawings, measuring and layout, using various power tools, accurate clamping and assembly methods, and gluing and painting. Another goal was to use all scrap materials, leftovers from the house construction and other projects.
Nelson cut several hundred shingles from scrap cedar blocks, using a wide chisel as the froe ~ much the same way Dad taught us to do when he had us making shingles for the Nativity stables he made to sell. Even the support legs were 're-used' lumber: treated wood that had lain unused for years at Monica Host's house and donated to the cause. The motion-controlled solar light however was new, parts & circuit hacked from a purchased unit.

Like the main house, a blue band surrounds the library, this one with the carved "Take One, Leave One" message. We used the same abrasive-blasting techniques as for the Peace Band.

We managed to get the base in the ground by late Fall 2016, just before freezing. The installation imparted lessons in post-hole digging, leveling and bracing, and concrete mixing.

I based the design on the main house, of course; we also plan to make a matching mailbox "house".

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JaboWeb ~~ last modified 29 Dec 16