Sisters to get five new ‘libraries'


Last updated 1/19/2022 at Noon

Bill Bartlett

Little Libraries are a neighborhood resource to share.

Under a proposal by Rotary Club of Sisters, the City would have first dibs on five “Little Libraries” that Rotary will build, stock, and maintain at its sole expense. These are the small wood- and-glass variety like the one shown here located in the Coyote Springs subdivision.The name “Little Libraries” is not just a generic description of the structures, which will each hold about 100 books. It is the moniker of Little Free Library, a nonprofit started and headquartered in Hudson, Wisconsin.They describe their vision and mission as follows:

“Our mission is to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries. Our vision is a Little Free Library in every community and a book for every reader. We believe all people are empowered when the opportunity to discover a personally relevant book to read is not limited by time, space, or privilege.”

Rotary in Sisters has long provided tangible gifts to the City, such as the barbecue and hearth at the Village Green. Rand Rietmann, Rotary Club of Sisters president, met with the City Parks Advisory Board in November to articulate the concept and answer questions. Rotary would like to put the five library boxes in City parks where citizens and visitors alike could take a book, read a book, and leave a book.

“Any library boxes that the City does not see being used would be offered to neighborhood-owned parks such as the one in McKenzie Meadows Village or in Saddlestone,” Rietmann said. ClearPine, a 97-unit development just north of Sisters, plans its own Little Library. Rietmann expects the City to accept the proposal in all or part by spring when installation would begin.

Hal Darcey, a member of Sisters Rotary, has made the first prototype in his workshop. Rotarians have given input and a final design is expected to be approved by the Club in February.

Darcey told The Nugget, “There are over 100,000 Little Libraries in more than 100 countries sharing 42 million books annually.”

Steve Auerbach, incoming Rotary president, sees stocking the five library boxes as critical to their success. “We will have a mix of roughly 100 books in each library for adults and children. Some will be hardbound and others paperback.”

On average, one book is shared in a Little Free Library every day according to administrators at the Wisconsin group. Rotary has a long history of improving literacy and for years has sponsored the annual Books for Kids program, where each first-grader at Sisters Elementary is given books of their choosing, selected in consultation with teachers and the Sisters Library.

Questions raised at the November meeting included issues of vandalism and usage. The former was estimated to not be a problem, given the demographics and civic-mindedness of Sisters. The latter was answered by the worldwide popularity of the program.

If interested in donating books, call 541-904-5132.


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