Take One, Leave One!

By on 14 September, 2012 in Carole King with 4 Comments

Steve Combs installs the Little Free Library at Rescued Relics, now open for business 24/7

Just when I get bored with the world around me… I’m driving down South Hull Street through the Garden District and spot the oddest little cottage sitting on top of a post near the street. I pulled over to examine this awesome mailbox while wondering what kind of mail these folks get to warrant such a huge receptacle. Lo and behold, behind the glass door there was a wide variety of books arranged on two shelves with a sign on top that said Granny Jackson’s Little Free Library. There were also these instructions: “Take one, Leave one.” These neighbors had created their own lending library for the Garden District neighborhood.

I began researching this newly popular book sharing movement and discovered Little Free Library (www.littlefreelibrary.org), an international organization that was formed:

  • To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
  • To build a sense of community to share skills, creativity, and wisdom across generations
  • To build more than 2,510 libraries around the world – more than Andrew Carnegie–and then some.

We decided this was such a fun community thing to do that we built a lending library at Rescued Relics in Old Alabama Town. Lots of design ideas are available on the organization’s website but our maintenance supervisor Steve Combs did our design work. He assembled our little library using some of our architectural salvage. We needed to take into consideration the location, the direction it faced, the weather, and our intended downtown market. We mounted our Little Free Library on the wall in front of the Rescued Relics warehouse where there is high visibility from Madison Avenue and a parking lot adjacent. We have registered our library with the Little Free Library organization. It will be listed on their website on an international map along with Granny Jackson’s on South Hull Street, Montgomery’s only other entry.

How do these little libraries work? These Little Free Libraries offer a way to share good things to read—favorite books from your childhoods or books you would recommend to friends; books that teach, intrigue and engage you.

Whose library is it? They belong to everybody –neighbors, friends, and people we don’t even know yet. Anyone can use it. That’s why we want to take care of it.

Take a book. If you see something you would like to read, take it. Look inside and see who gave it and who else has read it.

Share it. Return it to any Little Free Library or pass it on to a friend.

Give books. Leave notes in them. Be a friend of all libraries by helping any way you can. Visit our Little Free Library at Rescued Relics, 423 Madison Avenue. It’s open 24/7!

Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation!

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Nina Kynard says:

    Carole, you need to put this info into the notices that go out for Old Alabama Town. We are right behind Rescued Relics and have several books that we would be glad to share and at the same time get something new. Let the businesses that are renting know that this is available.

    Nina Kynard
    The Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group

  2. Patty DeFee says:

    Oh, you have no idea how excited I was to read that Granny Jackson’s Little Free Library inspired y’all to build one in Old Alabama Town! My husband, Joe, built Granny Jackson’s after we saw the Little Free Library story on NBC. We found all of the info we needed to get started at http://www.littlefreelibrary.org and now our library is going strong. Children’s books are especially popular, and we usually have a good selection of novels, how-to books and even political and religious reading too. Bags of books have appeared at our door, along with sweet thank you notes from children and the occasion monetary donation, all of which are very appreciated & help keep the library going.

    It’s so exciting to see someone walk away from Granny Jackson’s with a book in hand, or to come home to find a family sitting on our front steps reading children’s books! I know my Granny Jackson would be proud to know that her love of reading is being passed along through a little free library, mounted on a stand underneath a big magnolia tree!

    Congrats on your Little Free Library. Joe & I plan to visit soon!

    Patty DeFee
    Granny Jackson’s Little Free Library
    1864 S Hull St.

    • Carole king says:

      Thanks for your nice note. Your neighbors were very suspicious the morning I was out taking a photograph of yours, but they didn’t publish it. We’re excited and have lots of feedback already. It took about 3 hours before our first book went out so we think that was pretty good!

  3. Frances Smith says:

    I am so proud to read this site. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. My daughter is the one with the Library on South Hull. The Library is named after my mother, Velma Jackson. When I was small we would walk almost a mile to meet the bookmobile. We were never without books to read. I am in my 70’s now and am never without a book, carry one everywhere I go. The books go fast out of the little house. I am so glad someone else can enjoy them.

    I hope yours goes as well and that many children and adults enjoy yours.

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