Leon Valley
TX

Staff Report
17-60

Presentation, Discussion and Possible Action to Approve the Installation of Little Free Libraries at the Silo, Old Mill, and The Ridge at Leon Valley Parks

Information

Department:Public WorksSponsors:
Category:Report

Attachments

  1. Printout
  2. PPT Little Free Library 7-18-2017

Item Discussion

PURPOSE

 

The purpose of this item is to consider approval of a request and a Park Commission recommendation to place Little Free Libraries at the Silo, Old Mill, and The Ridge at Leon Valley Parks.

 

A Little Free Library is a container, usually a small box, placed on a post that is set in the ground, or a container that is just placed on the ground, which is then filled with books for both children and adults. The books are then “checked out” by anyone wanting to read a book, at no charge. The books are periodically replaced by readers. The containers or boxes and the contents are monitored by a “Steward”, which is typically someone from the surrounding neighborhood area.

 

The idea for these libraries was first introduced to the Park Commission last summer by Ms. Evon Kardos, a resident who wants to be the Steward for the Silo Park Little Free Library. Since that time, the Library Board of Trustees and the Smith’s from the Old Mill subdivision have said they would gladly Steward other little free libraries.

 

The boxes have been constructed by Public Works and may now be installed at each of the park areas. The books will be provided by the Leon Valley Library Board of Trustees. As previously stated, stewardship of the boxes would be performed by community volunteers and the Library Board of Trustees on a routine basis. The Stewards would report any vandalism to Public Works, who would inspect/repair to assure upkeep. If the idea is eventually abandoned, the boxes would be donated to the library for use in the Children’s Wing.

 

After installation, the boxes will be registered with the Little Free Library organization. The box registration allows access to network of support and benefits, including an official charter sign engraved with a unique charter number. One of the most popular benefits of registration is the option to add the Library to the world map of little free libraries.

 

The idea for these libraries was developed in 2009 by a Mr. Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, who built a model of a one room schoolhouse, as a tribute to his mother - a teacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard and found that his neighbors and friends loved it, so he built several more and gave them away - each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS. Rick Brooks of UW-Madison saw Bol’s do-it-yourself project while they were discussing potential social enterprises.

 

Together, the two saw opportunities to achieve a variety of goals for the common good, with each bringing different skills to the effort. Mr. Bol was a creative artisan experienced with innovative enterprise models; Brooks was a youth and community development educator with a background in social marketing. Their mission statement is “To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations”.

 

SEE LEON VALLEY

 

Social - Providing easy access to books assures recreational and equal educational opportunities for all citizens, but more importantly for children who have limited access to the main library.

 

Economic - Providing books at local parks with volunteers as Stewards engages a community, which may attract new residents and may promote our image regionally.

 

Environmental - While we encourage everyone to visit the main library, parents will be able to combine walking to the neighborhood park with a reading experience, which would reduce the number of vehicle trips, which may reduce air pollution.

 

 

FISCAL IMPACT

 

              Less than $150

-              Wood for box & post

-              Concrete to set post

-              Books will be free from our library excess, donated by the public, or purchased from Goodwill

-              Funds are available in the FY 2017 budget

-              Made of marine grade plywood (weather proof) and some recycled materials

Document Comments

PARK COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION

 

Approve the Park Commission's recommendation to install Little Free Libraries at the Silo, Old Mill, and The Ridge at Leon Valley Parks.

 

Meeting History

Jul 18, 2017 6:00 PM  City Council Regular Meeting

Interim Community Development/Public Works Director Moritz presented her last item of the evening to submit a request and a Park Commission recommendation to place Little Free Libraries at the Silo, Old Mill, and The Ridge at Leon Valley Parks.

A Little Free Library is a container, usually a small box, placed on a post that is set in the ground, or a container that is just placed on the ground, which is then filled with books for both children and adults. The books are then “checked out” by anyone wanting to read a book, at no charge. The books are periodically replaced by readers. The containers or boxes and the contents are monitored by a “Steward”, which is typically someone from the surrounding neighborhood area. The idea for these libraries was first introduced to the Park Commission last summer by Ms. Evon Kardos, a resident who wants to be the Steward for the Silo Park Little Free Library. Since that time, the Library Board of Trustees and the Smith’s from the Old Mill subdivision have said they would gladly Steward other little free libraries. The boxes have been constructed by Public Works and may now be installed at each of the park areas. The books will be provided by the Leon Valley Library Board of Trustees. As previously stated, stewardship of the boxes would be performed by community volunteers and the Library Board of Trustees on a routine basis. The Stewards would report any vandalism to Public Works, who would inspect/repair to assure upkeep. If the idea is eventually abandoned, the boxes would be donated to the library for use in the Children’s Wing. After installation, the boxes will be registered with the Little Free Library organization. The box registration allows access to network of support and benefits, including an official charter sign engraved with a unique charter number. One of the most popular benefits of registration is the option to add the Library to the world map of little free libraries.

Interim Community Development/Public Works Director Moritz added that the idea for these libraries was developed in 2009 by a Mr. Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, who built a model of a one room schoolhouse, as a tribute to his mother - a teacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard and found that his neighbors and friends loved it, so he built several more and gave them away - each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS. Rick Brooks of UW-Madison saw Bol’s do-it-yourself project while they were discussing potential social enterprises. Together, the two saw opportunities to achieve a variety of goals for the common good, with each bringing different skills to the effort. Mr. Bol was a creative artisan experienced with innovative enterprise models; Brooks was a youth and community development educator with a background in social marketing. Their mission statement is “To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations

A motion was made by Council Member Monica Alcocer and seconded by Council Member David Edwards to approve the installation of Little Free Libraries at the Silo, Old Mill, and The Ridge at Leon Valley Parks as requested.

RESULT:APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Monica Alcocer, Council Place 3
SECONDER:Belinda Ealy, Council Place 2
AYES:Benny Martinez, David Edwards, Belinda Ealy, Monica Alcocer, David Jordan

Discussion