Little Free Libraries continue to take off with more popping up in Eau Claire and across the country. One of those has just popped up outside the home of a retired teacher, who continues to inspire learning even though she's left the classroom. Deborah Peterson, a recently retired teacher at memorial, got a very special gift this past Christmas.
"Before Christmas my brother showed me this big lump in his kitchen covered with a quilt and he said that's your Christmas present. I said what it is it? Well you got to wait," says Peterson.
Her brother and sister-in-law handmade and painted a free little library. "I looked up some information about the little free library and then it was really cool so I put it up in my garden," says Peterson.
With some books given by her sister-in-law and some books she brought home from school her little free library on Keith Street was off and running. So how does it work? Well you come to one of these little free libraries and it says right on the box. You basically take a book but also be sure you return a book. It’s all about paying it forward.
"Pretty soon neighbors started dropping off their books and then picking up books that were there, so now the books that are in there are not the books I started with. It just keeps changing over," says Peterson. She did add some children's books for families in the neighborhood.
"She just thinks it's wonderful. It's a destination for her and her little girls when they take walks…I watch. It's really, really fun. So I sip coffee and watch and people come and take books."
The concept started about three years ago in Hudson and has spread across the country.
"There was a man who wanted to honor his mother who was a teacher and a book lover, and so he built a little free library and just put free books out to promote literacy. There’s an old saying that's nothing good is free or nothing in life is free, but learning should be free. It should be something that you can just have. You can just pick up a book and learn something," says Peterson.
Click on the link below to learn more about Little Free Libraries and how to start one of your own.
Click the link below to find a Little Free Library near you!