Little Free Libraries have been popping up all over Clatsop County over the past four years, thanks to a program called Libraries Reading Outreach in Clatsop County. The goal is simple, providing library resources for all children in Clatsop County, through library cards, courier services between schools and a countywide summer reading program.
Due to the wonderful support of local community members and businesses who build the little libraries and donate them, the Libraries Reading Outreach annual fundraiser provides funding for the project by auctioning off at least eight little libraries each year. The best part is that community members then place the little libraries throughout our community. If you’ve never seen one, a little library is a cute little house, larger than a birdhouse but smaller than a doghouse. Smaller little libraries are perched on poles or placed on a stand, and larger little libraries usually sit on a bench. Inside each little library are books that the owner has placed there for people to take and exchange. The idea is to take a book, leave a book so everyone can enjoy reading.
According to Wikipedia, the first little free library was built in 2009 by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin. He built a little library that looked like a schoolhouse to honor his mother who was a teacher and loved to read. The original idea behind little free libraries was to create more little libraries than the number of libraries founded by Andrew Carnegie. A Scottish businessman and philanthropist, Carnegie founded 2,509 libraries between 1883 and 1929. In 2016 it was believed that there were well over 50,000 little free libraries worldwide and that number continues to grow each year.
Libraries Reading Outreach in Clatsop County will be raising money on March 31 at the Seaside Convention center. This is the main fundraiser for the year for the program. This year’s fundraiser will be even better than previous years because Libraries Reading Outreach, a countywide group representing the libraries of Astoria, Seaside and Warrenton, is joining forces with the Seaside Public Library Foundation. This year’s fundraiser will have an additional author event as part of the fundraiser. There will be at least eight little libraries up for auction and perhaps you will get to bring one home to place in your yard or business.
Some examples of little libraries around Seaside include one at Sea Star Gelato that was built by Vintage Hardware of Astoria, A little library built by Bill Moberg located across the street from Seaside High School near the mini-mart, and a little Snoopy library inside State Farm Insurance. There are many more little libraries out there and it’s fun to try and find them all.
There will be nine local authors at the upcoming event and the fundraiser will allow for chances to get your name into a short story collection they are writing.
In the next two months, we will be sharing some excerpts from the authors who will be at the event. The authors will be sharing shorter pieces of their stories written for the event and will be sharing them here in the Seaside Signal as a teaser in my next two articles.