Last time, I gave you a tour of Little Free Libraries in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Today, let's visit the Little Free Libraries in the city next door: Waterloo.
The Little Free Library worldwide movement champions literacy and the love of books and reading. Each LFL is, according to the HQ website, "a 'take a book, return a book' gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share." As we saw last time, my own city of Cedar Falls has an interesting assortment of LFLs, particularly the one that looks like a small TARDIS from the TV show Doctor Who.
Okay, let's get started checking out the Little Free Libraries of Waterloo, shall we? To see any picture larger, just click on it.
This first Waterloo LFL is no-frills, for sure. This is a pretty new library; a placque on the door says that it was started in April 2015, just three months ago. One thing that sets this apart from other LFLs is that it has no window. Which could be a blessing because it keeps the books inside from fading because of the sun. Another thing I like about this LFL is how it was designed to look just like the LFL steward's house. Both of the houses — the big one and the little one — are painted the same shade of maroon and are roofed with gray shingles. Cool, huh?
Second, in a tree-shaded neighborhood — which was a relief because it was darn HOT when I was on my LFL quest yesterday! — is this LFL also painted maroon. This library has the usual front window. Very handsome.
The third one is in a suburban setting. The guy next door was meticulously mowing his lawn with a riding mower. Hey, I should have gotten him in these photos! ヅ This LFL is brightly painted red, blue, and yellow. Cool idea I haven't seen in an LFL before: the steward of this library has included an equally colorful bound journal marked "Leave a note!" Nice cheerful greetings from neighborhood folks thanking the steward for their LFL.
The fourth LFL I visited yesterday is in a forested area near Rainbow Drive. The stewards of this library have made some cool innovations. As with the Clover Lane LFL, there's a bound journal for people to leave greetings. Very cool, though, there's also a little plastic container of dog treats. There's a stack of bright, colorful bookmarks — that's a very nice touch. There are several copies of the Cedar Valley Trails and Recreation Guide, a fold-up map. And there's a stick-up little light for night visitors. You can see all of these in the picture on the right below.
There was one library I couldn't find. According to the LFL website, there should have been a library in downtown Waterloo, at 505 Walnut Street. I suspect this LFL may no longer exist. However, it may have been moved inside somewhere nearby. On Monday, I'll make some inquiries. Faith Temple Baptist Church is right there and may now have the LFL. The Boys and Girls Club is just down the street, too; they might have the library in their building. So stay tuned, okay? Check back the next day or so, please.
Okay, that's the end of our Waterloo LFL tour. For now. Hope you've enjoyed it. Why don't you visit one (or all!) of these LFLs? Bring a book or two to leave. And take a book to read.
Oh, one more thing: earlier this year, students from Waterloo's Hoover Middle School built some LFLs and are looking for stewards to install them in Waterloo neighborhoods. Here's a newspaper article about this story. Pretty exciting. Congrats to the students and to their teacher, Jeremy Prouty. If you are interested in becoming a steward of one of these LFLs or would just like more detail about this project, visit their website, H.E.L.P. LFL.
Added 20 July 2015: I found out today that the Hoover students' LFLs have all been assigned to stewards already. So, do not apply for one at the H.E.L.P LFL website.
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