10-02 Little Free Library

Bruce and Bonnie Weigman stand near their little free library in Paisley.

Bruce and Bonnie Weigman are sharing their love of books and reading with our Paisley community by providing a Little Free Library. The small structure is mounted on a pole in their yard across from the Community Center. Bruce and Duane Young drew up plans for the little library, then Duane built it and used his backhoe to set it in place.

The small container has doors with glass panels that allow a glimpse of the variety of books inside. There is a main book shelf with a compartment above for oversize books. Everyone is invited to stop by and take whatever titles seem interesting. The motto is “Take a Book, Share a Book.” Books can be donated by placing them inside the box or in the breezeway next to Weigman’s house.

In their travels, Bruce and Bonnie noticed Little Free Libraries in Tigard, Springfield, even in a remote town in South Africa when they were there visiting their daughter, Jennifer. Paisley residents or people passing through town are invited to browse the collection.

The Weigman’s see this project as a way of helping the community and encouraging people to read. The Little Free Library is near city hall, the town park and the Paisley branch of the Lake District Library. The Weigmans have registered their structure with Little Free Libraries, a non-profit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community and sparks creativity.

The idea was born in 2009 when Todd H. Bol of Hudson, Wis. used wood from an old garage door to make the first “library on a stick” as a tribute to his mother who had been a school teacher and loved books. Word of his book exchange for neighbors spread and by 2019 there were 80,000 Little Free Libraries in 50 states and 88 countries. Each one has a volunteer steward like the Weigmans who build the structure and keep it stocked with books.

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