Little Free Library: Building Community

Last spring, when the pandemic hit, Jill Essenburg wanted to do something to bless all the families who were now home 24/7. She had some discarded books, so she decided to start a Little Library for her neighborhood in Hudsonville. She put the books out in a wooden crate in front of her house with a friendly note attached.

Jill, a Collection Services Assistant at KDL, also had various craft activities that she added to the library as "Take and Make" activities.

"The kids and parents loved it," Jill said. "It was a big hit, and soon I started seeing familiar faces come on a regular basis. They would come to the door and ask when I would put out the books if I hadn't done so yet that day."

Kids also met one of Jill's rabbits and enjoyed getting to know her. Jill said it was a great way to build community in her neighborhood and make a difference in the lives of kids and families. 

Jill's Little Library is back this year. Jill plans on adding a neighborhood page (either on Nextdoor or Facebook) called "Sunflower Kids" so she can share craft ideas and invite kids to share pictures of themselves reading or of the crafts they make. 

Thanks, Jill!

Kent District Library offers several Free Libraries throughout our service area. These mini-libraries typically house around 40 books each, including youth, teen and adult fiction and nonfiction materials. People are encouraged to take a book and leave a book.