I met LittleFreeLibrary.org co-founder, Rick Brooks, at his daughter’s wedding reception in Iowa about six weeks back. I am good friends with the groom.
Rick explained to me what a Little Free Library is and explained his vision of providing Little Free Libraries to communities across the United States and the world. We really hit it off. And he gave me a Little Free Library hat! THANKS RICK!
Rick also described their problem: A high interest and demand for lots of little libraries! They need woodworkers, designers, etc. to help build libraries and kits. They need skilled folks who can come up with plans and designs. They are constantly looking for new partnerships.
I explained what a Kansas City Woodworkers’ Guild is: A membership of over 400 people committed to the education of woodworking and using woodworking skills to serve the community of Kansas City. I serve as the Director of Membership.
It seemed like a divine-inspired meeting.
I explained the Joplin Mobile Library Community Service Project that the Guild is building. The city of Joplin lost their schools in a tornado earlier this year. The KCWG was approached to build 24 folding mobile (on casters) libraries to be used for school in their City Hall. We agreed to provide the volunteer, skilled woodworkers from our membership. Hallmark agreed to provide the funding and artists. The Guild is almost finished with the community outreach project.
I offered a possible solution: A partnership with the Kansas City Woodworkers’ Guild!
A few days later I talked to the other co-founder, Todd Bol by phone. Todd is full of passion. Our conversation was incredible. We laughed we cried…OK, maybe not cried, but an outsider would have thought we knew each other for years!
I wanted to extend their Little Free Library project to my corner of the world. And Rick and Todd wanted to extend their Little Free Library project to my corner of the world!
I presented the idea of a Little Free Library Special Interest Group to the Kansas City Woodworkers’ Guild at our October Leadership Committee meeting. The Committee gave me their blessing to proceed.
We had our initial Little Free Library Special Interest Group meeting on October 26th. About 15 people attended. We agreed that the LFL SIG would draw up designs, create kits and build prototypes. Then we will take those designs and involve the rest of the Guild. We will then host a KCWG project where members can volunteer and help create many libraries. And finally the LFL SIG will find owners and homes to purchase and place the libraries.
The KCWG wants to build Little Free Libraries, however, they do not want to take on the task of finding funding and underwriting.
So that is where Little Free Library KC comes in. Little Free Library KC is an extension of littlefreelibrary.org. Our mission is simple: to expand littlefreelibrary.org in the Kansas City Metro, Kansas, Missouri and the Midwest.
We do this in 4 specific ways:
- Partner with littlefreelibrary.org. Libraries placed through Little Free Library KC are also officially registered with littlefreelibrary.org.
- Partner with local businesses, organizations and individuals to acquire funding and underwriting to lower the costs of Little Free Libraries KC.
- Partner with the Kansas City Woodworkers’ Guild to build Little Free Libraries KC.
- Partner with the community to seek local homes and stewards to care for Little Free Libraries locally in the Kansas City metro, the states of Kansas and Missouri and in other Midwest locations.
This is just the first chapter of our story. There are many, many more chapters to create.
If you would like to be part of the next chapter in our story then please contact us and get involved!