May 4, 2012 – (Traverse City, Mich.) The Traverse Area District Library (TADL) is excited to bring the nationwide Little Free Library movement to Traverse City. Sponsoring Michigan’s first registered Little Free Library, TADL, is hoping to encourage members of the community to serve as literacy stewards by creating their own Little Free Libraries.
The public is invited to celebrate community and the joy of reading at the official Kids Creek Little Free Library opening on Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m. at Spruce and Sixth Streets in Traverse City.
“This is not a new idea, but it’s a great idea so we are ‘paying it forward,’” said TADL Director, Metta T. Lansdale, Jr. “The message behind the Little Free Library is simple and dovetails with TADL’s mission; it’s about building literacy as well as a sense of community.”
The Little Free Library is a beautifully designed, weatherproof wooden house mounted on a wooden post, containing a collection of 20-30 books and a mounted sign that reads “Take a Book, Return a Book.” If you see something you would like to read; take it and share it. But, remember to also leave a book to continue to build the ever-evolving collection.
The TADL-sponsored Little Free Library will be dedicated to the Kids Creek Neighborhood in the front yard of TADL patrons and local residents Becky Mang and Homer Nye at Spruce and Seventh Streets in Traverse City. For this project to be successful it’s important to have good stewards of the Little Library. Kids Creek has a very active neighborhood association with residents representing a wide range of ages and includes three separate TCAPS bus stops.
“We have always loved the strong sense of community in our Kids Creek Neighborhood and feel the Little Free Library will just add to it,” said Mang. Our Little Library will feature a collection of books for both adult and young readers,” said Mang. “We’re just so excited!”
Earlier this year, members of the TADL staff discovered the grassroots Little Free Library project, which was started in 2009 by Hudson, Wis. natives Todd Bol and Rick Brooks. TADL wanted to bring the simple but innovative idea to the local community by sponsoring the first one in the area.
“The Little Free Library is an excellent outreach tool for TADL’s network of community libraries and to share a community’s love of reading,” said Jill Porter, TADL assistant director for public service. “We hope to see them spring up throughout the county - from Fife Lake to Long Lake.”
In fact, local library lovers and literacy advocates, The Books For Walls Project, is already getting inspired! So far they have plans to build a Zen-like and a totally recycled Little Library in the coming weeks.
With a minimal material budget TADL tech employee, John Patt volunteered his time to build the Kids Creek Neighborhood Little Free Library. Patt is a meticulous builder and took great pride in this project. “Since this Little Library was going to be the very first in our community, I wanted it to be extra special,” he said. Many staff have commented the library is so well done, they would like to move in themselves! Patt’s notes including his templates and materials list along with official Little Free Library planning documents can be found on www.tadl.org/littlefreelibrary to inspire others in the community to start building and share their love of reading.
The Traverse Area District Library (TADL) is a network of community libraries serving Grand Traverse County through the following locations: the Woodmere (Main) Branch in Traverse City including the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, East Bay and Kingsley Branch Libraries; Member Libraries: Fife Lake Public Library, Interlochen Public Library, and Peninsula Community Library; and the Grand Traverse County Law Library.