POULSBO — A small, wooden fixture not much larger than an oversized mailbox is already bringing a neighborhood closer.
Patty Tompkins’ Little Free Library has spurred conversation with neighbors she had never met before.
“It turns out my next-door neighbor owns a mosaic store in Poulsbo,” she said.
It’s common for Little Free Libraries to bring neighborhoods together. “It totally happened here right away,” she said.
Tompkins placed the Little Free Library in her front yard, joining an online movement (www.littlefreelibrary.org). Her hope is the Forest Rock neighborhood on 12th Avenue will take ownership of it.
A Little Free Library is just that — a little library full of free books. The policy is take a book, leave a book. It’s a way to share literature. Tompkins and her husband are avid readers, she said. She wanted to share their titles with others. In stock right now are children’s books and a “mish-mash” of other literature. Tompkins said people are now bringing her their books to share through the Little Free Library.
Tompkins has her own motto on the side of the library: “Read, Share, Love.” The library was built by Tompkins’ friend, Ralph Schultz, a woodworker on Bainbridge Island. The mosaics covering the library were done by Tompkins, who was assisted by her neighbor, who owns Kitsap Mosaics.
Tompkins became interested in the library after reading an article in The Seattle Times a few years ago, she said. The libraries are worldwide; Little Free Libraries are registered and listed on an online database. The Little Free Library website also raises funds so books can be donated around the world.
“I think there’s a lot of interest,” Tompkins said.
— Kipp Robertson