It’s official: the Lake Park neighborhood in Mount Pleasant is part of the Little Free Library movement.
Resident Jamie Whitten McCauley officially “opened” her library Friday, and she had her first visitor just a few hours later.
“The little girl across the street was drawn by my dog, but she found something right away,” McCauley said with a sigh of relief. “I don’t have children so I was worried about how my selection would go over, and it was successful, so that’s great.”
McCauley said she’s been mulling the idea of a little library for a couple of years because she really loves to read and wants to foster that love in others.
“I have always loved books, but I don’t know many people who read, and I’d like to help change that,” she said. “I’ve visited a couple of little libraries in Milwaukee and also on the south side of Racine. Finally, I just decided it was time to get it done.”
Little Free Library No. 39112 is located at 1213 Kenilworth Avenue in Mount Pleasant. It is an official member of the Little Free Library organization and is listed on the map on their website. There is a Facebook page as well.
McCauley’s husband built her little library as a miniature of their home and painted it the same colors with a latched door with a plexiglass window so visitors can take a peek inside. McCauley credits her mother for instilling her love of books, and the little library is dedicated to her memory.
Like all little libraries, the goal is to “Take a book, return a book,” but McCauley said she knows that isn’t always possible.
“Sure, that’s the goal, but there might be families who can’t, and that’s okay,” she said.
The books filling McCauley’s library have come from a variety of sources; her own collection, both winning and buying books from goodreads.com, purchases from Goodwill and donations from authors Shelly King and Garfield Whyte. They contributed The Moment of Everything by King as well as Nostalgia From: A City Set Upon A Hill and TJ’s Last Summer In Cape Cod from Whyte.
In addition to adult fiction that covers a number of genres, McCauley also has a selection of books for kids of all ages, including the popular and growing Young Adult, as well as some non-fiction titles.
“I love books from just about every corner you can think of,” she added, noting that her personal library in her basement fills at least three, six-foot shelving units and is organized in alphabetical order by author. “It’s the only way I can keep track of what I’ve read and what I still need to read.”
McCauley hopes that visitors to her little library will increase as the word about it gets out more, and she is accepting donations to keep the library filled.