Visiting Other Free Libraries

Another in an occasional series of Little Free Libraries in Portland and Beyond.

I was recently in Forest Grove, OR, for a full-day professional development training. I went walking at lunch and stumbled across two little libraries. I couldn’t find charter numbers or signs on either of them, so I don’t know if they’re registered with Little Free Libraries or not, but they seemed to be busy! IMG_9422.jpg

This one was right outside the Tim & Cathy Tran Library.

This one was in front of the IMG_9421.jpgEarly Learning Center.

I looked on Google to see if maybe there were more little libraries I’d missed. Looks like these are the only two so far, according to this article.  I couldn’t find them on the Little Free Library map either, but if they’re run by students, that’s not terribly surprising. Next time I’m out there, I’ll have to bring some books!

(Also, if you’re out there, look for the Art-O-Mat machine in the art gallery!)

Visiting Other SE PDX Libraries

Here’s another SE Portland little library. This one is one block from the Woodstock New Seasons store. It looks like there was another structure next to it – another library? a little free pantry? a birdhouse?  It doesn’t have an official LFL registration number on it, and I couldn’t find it on the official LFL map.

I love the colors on this one. It’s similar run down LFL.jpgto what I was originally going to paint mine – pumpkin orange, olive green, and eggplant purple. This photo also reminds me I keep meaning to find a cabinet doorknob of some sort and a magnet for mine, instead of the rotating lever style latch.

I’ve passed this library several times. For about a year, I passed it almost weekly, and it was always nearly empty – maybe a few wilted magazines or a couple of damp dog-eared books, and that was about it. I passed it recently,  and it was half-full of books in really good shape. I don’t know if that was a one-time thing or if someone is back to caring for the library. I hope it’s getting used regularly again. It’s in a great spot, so near the Woodstock neighborhood businesses, close enough to the elementary school that it’s got to have walkers and cyclists coming by. The neighborhood is pretty neat too – lots of holiday decorations, good looking yards, and the occasional bit of chalk art on the sidewalks.

 

 

Visiting other SE PDX Libraries

Here’s the little library at the New Seasons store on SE woodstock new seasons LFLWoodstock and SE 46th. Not an official LFL, but a lovely little community book-&-game shelf. A shelf of adult books, a shelf of kid books, and some games, along with the usual free magazines & newspapers. This shelf is upstairs in the “Tree House”, where you can sit and drink or eat indoors and outside. There’s even a bar up there.  Pretty spiffy, having a little library – letting people know they are welcome not just to shop, but to hang out. Occasionally, there is live music, story time for kids, and a couple of different regular meet-ups sponsored by New Seasons that change through the year, along with groups that just happen to meet there.

Thanks, New Seasons!

Visiting Little Free Libraries in Eugene

I went to Eugene for the weekend a few weeks ago, for the first time in close to 20 years. I spent 5 years working and going to school there a long time back while at the University of Oregon, so I knew it fairly well then, but hadn’t kept up with much of anything since. Most of my time this trip was either spent with friends or just walking around. Of course a ton had changed since I was there last. Still, knowing that and seeing the changes are different things. Little Free Libraries as such, for example, weren’t around then. You’d see a small shelf of books and games for anyone at a bar or coffee shop, but not the Official Little Free Library movement there is now.  This trip, I also dropped a few books off in the LFLs I found via BookCrossing.

On the first day, a friend and I went out IMG_8161.jpgto Lane Community College to find the Art-o-mat machine.  It’s a refurbished cigarette machine from the 60s/70s/80s that now dispenses cigarette-pack sized art. This is one of three in the whole state of Oregon. The machines are stocked with all sorts of art, from poetry to ceramic or wire sculptures, glass pieces to mini-notebooks, photography to jewelry, paintings on mini canvases and lino prints and everything else that could possibly fit in a box the size of a pack of cigarettes. Everything sells for $5 each. This one was located, appropriately, in the community college’s art gallery. I love everything about Art-o-mats – I love that the cigarette machines are getting new lives, I love that they sell affordable and easily stored/displayed art for the masses, I love that Art-o-mats works with individual artists – famous and not – and art collectives such as teen programs, I love that you only get the barest bit of information from the tags on the machine – it’s a bit of gambling. I collect the pieces – I have around 30 pieces right now.  Here’s what I got this trip:  A woodland scene made from paper piecing (there’s even a cardstock easel on the back to stand it up), a painted block with a heart in a speech balloon, hand-drawn pen art with typed words on paper strips done by a teen, and a word made from photos, plus all the packaging the pieces came in/with.

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Once done with the Art-o-mats, we tracked LCC 18400.jpgdown the Little Free Library right outside the community college’s preschool, #18400. It’s even got its own page on the Lane Community College website! I don’t know why it was so empty. Maybe they empty it for weekends and just have books in it when the preschoolers are at school.

 

 

The next day, I was on my own. The Little Free Library map is kind of unwieldy even on a regular-size computer, and downright useless on a smart phone. Fortunately for me, I also had access to the Little Library Locator app – really, a website – to help me find the LFLs near me as I walked. The weather was beautiful, the trees still green and super-leafy, and there was hardly any traffic as I started out on this early Saturday morning.

5083 LFL.jpgThe first one I stopped by was LFL #5083.

 

 

Not too many books in it, but I did find this gem:

 

It reminds me of books and materials we used to build for the preschool kids where I worked in the late 80s/early 90s at the UofO childcare centers.

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Next up was was LFL #10252. Again, not too many books, but a lovely little yard. I’m pretty sure this is near one of the apartments I lived in while going to school. I never did find that apartment building on this trip – it’s entirely possible it’s been torn down to build a higher density apartment building or a business.

 

 

 

 

 

Further down the street was LFL #10465. Such a pretty yard! Also, a well-stocked LFL! I took one book from this library.

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I met one of the neighbors as I walked. Very friendly, not my cat.jpgnot much of a talker.

 

 

 

 

 

LFL #16774 had a nice little note on the window

 

I tried to find LFL #4202 – especially because which one is missing.jpgof its low number – but it’s not there anymore. So I sat at the park across the street for a bit to log it’s absence in the Little Library Locator, enjoy the trees and fall leaves, and to decide which direction to go.

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To make up for it, I found a little library with no LFL designation or number. (Yes, I added it to the Little Library locator)

I passed a couple of garage sales, some nice yards, ski lift chair.jpga few more cats, and this ski lift chair mounted on someone’s porch.  I love it!

Last one for the day, LFL #21177. Easily tied with #10465 for the best stocked LFL I saw the whole trip. I 21177 LFL.jpgthink I took two books from this library.

 

 

After that, much catching up over dinner with friends, some well-deserved reading time in my motel, then back home I went. The nice thing about taking the train – I got to read the whole way home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting other SE PDX Libraries

My co-worker and I went out for lunch today, to Cartlandia, and ran across a little IMG_7991.jpglibrary.  I’d seen mention in my BookCrossing newsletter of it. I can’t find it on the Little Free Library map, so I don’t think it’s an official LFL, but it’s definitely a cool little library.  It’s an adorable little stove/oven, small enough for a kid’s play kitchen, but heavy enough it might actually have worked at one point. We didn’t have time to poke through the books this trip. Maybe next time!