After months of work and coordination, the first Little Free Library was installed in Deer Park at 3833 E. Eloika Road on September 29th.
This Deer Park Rotary project was a solution to a problem. The books from the Rotary donation box at Yokes were no longer being used for the elementary school book event, and the club considered removing the donation box. Gary Bowe, club treasurer, proposed an alternative, the Little Free Library program. This program has more than 90,000 registered public book exchanges in 91 countries, with millions of books exchanged each year. The goal is to increase access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.
After discussion at Deer Park Rotary club meetings, the board approved the project that was a natural fit for the club. Supporting literacy and Community Service are central goals for Rotary. The project provides multiple locations for free access to books for readers of all ages. While we have an excellent library system, the Little Free Libraries provide access to many in the community that cannot or do not use the county libraries on a regular basis.
The club sought locations for the first installations while Wes Player, club president at the time, generously volunteered to construct the libraries. Wes reviewed designs of other library installations and used those ideas to create the design for the Deer Park Little Free Libraries. The club also submitted and received a grant from Rotary District 5080 for funds provided through The Rotary Foundation to assist with the costs of the project. The existing book donation box, which has been in place for many years with generous contributions from the community will continue to be maintained by the Deer Park Rotary Club. It will be a resource for stocking the Little Free Libraries.
There are 5 additional libraries being installed by Deer Park Rotary volunteers in the following locations:
- Riverside Centerplace Market, 34710 N Newport Hwy, Chattaroy, WA
- 116 N Stevens Ave, Deer Park, WA
- Lifeworks Financial, 102 W Crawford St Ste A, Deer Park, WA
- Greenhouse Community Center, 211 Fir Ave, Deer Park, WA
- 4779 Gibson Dahl Road, Clayton, WA
The books are available for the community’s free use. Exchanging books is encouraged, but the book donation box will provide a continuing source for replenishing inventory.
Four of the six installations are at club members’ homes or businesses. They will watch over and restock those locations. A committee from the club, currently headed by Gary Bowe, will collect donated books, provide books for the various locations, and maintain the libraries, as needed.
Additional sources of Information:
Deer Park Rotary is currently meeting through Zoom, but typically meets weekly at noon, on Thursdays, at the First Street Bar and Grill banquet room, 122 W 1st Street, Deer Park, WA 99006.