If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews

10/07 M.E. Browning, Shadow Ridge

10/14 Alexia Gordon

10/21 Adam Meyer

10/28 Barbara Ross, Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door

October Guest Bloggers

10/03 Kathleen Kalb

10/17 S. Lee Manning

10/31 Sharon Dean

WWK Weekend Bloggers

10/10 Jennifer J. Chow

10/24 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Library or Birdhouse?

At first glance this small box on a post looks like a birdhouse or a mailbox. But it’s neither of those; it’s a Little Free Library. If you look through the glass on the small front door you’ll see books carefully tucked inside.

I visited a Little Free Library (LFL) located in the Del Ray section of Alexandria, Virginia. This artistic and vibrant neighborhood has a lot of pedestrian activity--people walking to the nearby Farmer’s Market or shops and restaurants--so it’s the perfect location for an LFL. The arts are celebrated in this area and I’ve heard there is even a tall fence in the community with attached bulletin boards for children and adults to pin their poetry.

The Little Free Library movement began when Todd Bol created a wooden container that looked like
a school house and installed it on his lawn as a tribute to his mother who was a school teacher and book lover. People in his Hudson, Wisconsin town became excited about the idea and wanted to build their own and fill them with books. Subsequently, Little Free Libraries, Ltd. was formed in 2009.

According to Wikipedia, Little Free Libraries are now in all 50 U.S. states. You might spot them in front of houses, coffee shops, bus stops and churches. The beauty of this tiny library is that it can fit almost anywhere. Accessible twenty-four hours a day, there isn’t a fee or fine for an overdue book.

They are also present in approximately 40 other countries such as Japan, India and Qatar. Recently Little Free Libraries partnered with Books for Africa to send thousands of books and 2,000 Libraries to Africa over the next few years.

How do you get and maintain your own LFL? Well, you can build one or order a custom Library from the Little Free Library website. Each is unique, ranging from simple to elaborate and can be considered “a piece of neighborhood art.” You can paint it or have it custom painted to look like, for example, an old schoolhouse, a garden, or jazz club.

Stewards (volunteer caretakers) are in charge of libraries and decide what type of books to stock. Some stewards choose a mix of books while others prefer a “carefully curated collection.” Examples of collections are: children’s books, mysteries, gardening, cooking, history, cultural books, health and wellness.

If authors would like to donate a book, the protocol is to leave an autographed copy in a LFL near you. You can find one by going to: http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/ and clicking on the Little Free Library Map of the World.

What books would you have in your Library?

What kind of things do people in your community do to promote literary arts?


Paula Gail Benson said...

Kara,what a terrific idea! I think mine would contain mysteries and children's books. Our office has a book repository where people can bring books they want to share with others. I've learned about a number of authors through that resource!

E. B. Davis said...

What books would be a problem since there is little space. I could envision a children's library if the post were a bit shorter. This is an amazing idea. Do they have any problems with pilfering?

My community has a wonderful large library that the county sponsors. Privately we have a community theater, a choir and sports teams.

Jim Jackson said...

This was news to me. I know people who read books and then give them away, either to friends or leave them on park benches and the like for whomever wants to pick it up and read it.

If I were to do this up north, I would only have hunters and the occasional lost soul as customers. Down south, I'd be breaking the condo association rules.


~ Jim

Shari Randall said...

Kara, these are adorable! What a great idea - just magical. I would love to get one and plunk it outside my beach house (someday, when I get a beach house!) and fill it with fun paperbacks.
My community is a large county with lots of offerings. They are cutting back funding to the library system, however - shortsighted, in my opinion. I think grassroots projects like the Little Free Libraries show what is truly important to people, and it's good to know how much people still value books.

Kara Cerise said...

Paula, your office book repository sounds like a good way to share books and learn about new authors.

Sarah Henning said...

Such a fantastic idea! I know that would go over quite well in my little college town.

Kara Cerise said...

E.B., I don't know about pilfering but there are scattered incidences of vandalism. They have a fact sheet about how to prevent vandalism--don't locate your LFL near a sports arena--and how to engage the community to keep it safe.

Kara Cerise said...

Jim, I couldn't do this either due to homeowner rules but it's a clever idea for someone in the right area. On the map of Libraries I noticed that some LFLs are in front of offices or stores. One was a woodworking store with a Library containing woodworking books.

Kara Cerise said...

Shari, I like your idea of a beach house with a Library in front filled with paperbacks!

I think it's a good way for people to have access to books even when their local libraries cut funding or in areas without a strong library system.

Kara Cerise said...

I bet that idea would be welcome in a college town, Sarah. I can see them filled with books about specific subjects like art history or astronomy. Also, books about how to make healthy food choices could be useful for college students.

Gloria Alden said...

Kara, I think this is a wonderful idea. I was telling the owner of a local book store I frequently go to for used books. She was excited when I told her about it and said she'd seen in in a small town she'd visited somewhere on vacation once. I told her about your blog, and now I need to tell her what day you posted this. She'd like to make one and put it up somewhere.

Traffic hurries by too fast in front of my house so it wouldn't make sense to put one out, especially since the snowplow gets my mailbox at least once a year and usually more often than that.

Warren Bull said...

What a great idea. This was new to me.

Kara Cerise said...

Gloria, how great that your local book store owner wants to make and put up a Library. I'd like to hear about her experience.

Warren, this was a new and exciting idea to me, too.