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Decatur's Little Free Library Opens

The unveiling of the local book exchange turned into a neighborhood event.

Books brought a Decatur neighborhood together Wednesday.

As 30 people and a few dogs watched, a blue tarp was yanked away to reveal a miniature house with a peaked roof and a plexiglass door. It sits on a post beside the sidewalk on Wilton Drive and has room for about 20 books.

The crowd applauded Decatur's first Little Free Library.

Rog Wagner explained the concept: "Bring a book, take a book." Everybody seemed to get it.

Wagner said he decided to build the Little Free Library after seeing a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about one built off Druid Hills Road by David Laufer.

All the materials were recycled or donated except some hardware on the door. "We've got about a dollar twenty-nine cents in this," Wagner said. Neighbors OK'd placement on their property.

Two men in Madison, Wisc., came up with the Little Free Library idea about three years ago as a way to encourage reading and bring communities together. The little libraries have spread across the nation, though not many have been built in the Southeast.

A map on the LFL website shows five of them in Georgia, though it's unclear if one of them has actually been built. The nameplate on the Wilton Drive library says it's number 838.

The little library was blessed by Jon Abercrombie, a neighborhood resident and chairman of the Trustees. He said reading is a good thing and urged people to support both libraries

Wagner quickly filled the little library from a bin full of books. Somebody popped a bottle of champagne and started pouring into plastic cups. As dusk settled, the neighbors stood on the street, talking and sipping.

Click here to hear a WABE radio interview with David Laufer about building his Little Free Library.

Susan Puckett April 26, 2012 at 12:12 PM
This is so cool! Makes me proud to be a Decaturite.
Mark Scott April 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Cool idea. Joe's coffee shop in East Atlanta had a similar thing - a cart where you could leave books or from which you could purchase a book (I think for like 50 cents or a dollar) and the money went to the local library in the EAV. These are great ways to share books you no longer want without having them end up in a landfill.
Decaturette April 26, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Venetian Pools has a similar cart in the summer. I think many retirement communities have something similar.
Jon Abercrombie April 26, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Thanks to all who worked on the Little Free Library and thanks to all who have faithfully supported the DeKalb Libraries. Celebrate the joy of reading. Thanks to the Patch for good coverage. Jon Abercrombie
Tonio April 26, 2012 at 03:48 PM
There's one on Pharr Street, too, that went up last week. On the Atlanta side of the street, I suppose, but facing Decatur. It's great!
Susan Puckett April 26, 2012 at 04:01 PM
On my morning jog I checked out the selection in there so far...my neighbors have great taste in books! Tonight I am planning to take a book in exchange for "Three Cups of Tea" if it's still in there....How fun! Thanks Rog and friends for making this happen...
Ginny and Gary April 26, 2012 at 10:52 PM
This is great! Gary and I think it would be fun to have at the building. Send the plans!
Charlotte April 29, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Cool I think that's a great place to read books without having to buy any!

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