Librarian Jack Phoenix is taking his librarian profession to another level.
He’s thinking “little.”
Phoenix’s full-time job has him at the London Public Library. But at his home, in an apartment complex off of Lafayette Street, Phoenix has erected a Little Free Library (LFL).
The LFL is an organization whose mission is to erect tiny libraries of books in various spots in a community. Phoenix learned about the concept at littlefreelibrary.org and decided London needed one.
The idea is to build a weatherproof box and stock it with books. Placed with public access, a person takes a book, but also leaves one behind. It provides an ever-revolving inventory of reading material. The program is designed to help people recycle their gently used books and to discover new favorites.
While the concept of free libraries has existed for 100 years, the idea of placing small structures containing books in high traffic areas is relatively new.
The structures themselves are as varied and imaginative as the books they hold; repurposing of old items is common. Themed LFL’s are common, too. For example, one LFL outside a medical center features books on health and wellness and another located outside of an ecology center is filled with books on nature and wildlife.
Phoenix and his friend, Mat Casper, built and box, painted in in striking red and blue and mounted it on a post outside of his apartment at 364 Muirwood Drive. He constructed the interior to allow for tall children’s books to have their own niche.
It is weatherproof and has already gained a following. He has already noticed a change in the contents from his original stocking on July 13.
The Little Free Library bears the charter number 16123. He paid a fee of $35 to officially register the location.
A self-described “book hoarder,” Phoenix will have no trouble keeping the primary-colored box full of reading material.
Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1617 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.