LITTLE LIBRARY: New Way To Borrow Books

With temperatures in the nineties, this would be a good week to pick out a few good books, and read them inside. But, you don’t have to go to a book store or library to check out a good book. A new way to borrow books is popping up in metro yards.

It’s hard to miss something in one yard driving down Center Street in Des Moines. Carmen Lampe Zeitler says, “We have seen people stop the car and come look.”

They’re looking at a little free library in the front yard. Lampe Zeitler says, “It is kind of a national movement to put little free libraries all over the country.”

Carmen Lampe Zeitler says she and her husband built a little free library a couple months ago after driving by one on 28th Street south of Grand Avenue. The idea started in Wisconsin and is spreading around the Midwest. The goal is to share books. Her husband John Zeitler says, “I think it’s one of those things that caught people’s imaginations.”

You’ll find everything from baseball books to children’s books in the Zeitler’s little library. Sometimes, even the couple finds a surprise. Carmen says, “Friends have brought books in they are finished with, and think somebody else would enjoy.”

It doesn’t take long to make the little free libraries. The couple says it took about a week to make their little home for books, and it didn’t cost very much money. Carmen says, “It was very easy to make. We had the materials. It’s made from old fence we took down, and then we had some shingles left over from roofing the house, so really no cost, except paint.”

They say the books stay dry, even in rain. And, no one has vandalized the library. So far, about one hundred books have been borrowed. Carmen says, “It’s just been a great thing for the neighborhood. We’ve had notes left in the library thanking us for doing it.”

You’ll find six little libraries in central Iowa, according to www.littlefreelibrary.org.