Little libraries of Blasdell - the JFK Playground
Little libraries of Blasdell - the intersection of Madison and Salisbury Avenues
Book kiosks are beginning to surface throughout the village of Blasdell. These miniature free libraries are becoming a trend throughout the nation from California, to Wisconsin, down south to Atlanta.
After Trustee Lou McDonald and his wife became inspired with the idea, he brought it to the table of the board. After approval the little free library project kick started.
The Department of Public Works helped to build the kiosks. They developed them in a way that they are entirely weather-proof; the kiosks will stand at parks 365 days a year. Under the direction of an art teacher at Blasdell Elementary the students painted designs on each.
There are currently three locations but McDonald is pushing for 10. There is one at the JFK Playground, Silver Street Playground, and also in front of the Old Blasdell Library at the corner of Madison and Salisbury Avenues.
“(My wife and I) avid readers and we have books like crazy; it’d be nice if we could share them with other people,” said McDonald.
Inside are an assortment of books that are ever-changing. Many people have donated and the Village has a hefty supply, able to continually fill. Each Monday the recreation staff goes to each of the three kiosks and re-fills whichever needs books.
“There’s all kinds of different books. There’s novels, romance novels, children’s books, agricultural books, parenting books. You name it, there’s a bit of everything,” said Janet Clark, village administrator.
Digging through I found a medley of genres: a history book on the Titanic, a James Patterson murder mystery, a 1909 edition of L. Frank Baum’s “The Road to Oz,” a three compilation book of Amish novellas, a children’s bedtime picture book.
These kiosks are entirely free. Each one has a sign that reads “This is our version of a free library. There is no card required, no fee and no time limit on any book. Take a book or two, read them at your leisure and return them if you wish. There is no hurry and you may even keep the books to reread if that is your choice. If you would like to donate books they may be dropped at the Village Hall.”
Perhaps you need something to read through while your children run around the playground. Maybe you owe the library money for an overdue book, can’t take out another, but still yearning for a good read. It is a perfect spot to find that gem vintage edition of “Alice Adventures in Wonderland” to add to your collection.
Take a book and put it right back or bring it back in a week or a month. Maybe you fell in love with it and want to keep it; go back and trade or don’t.
“I’m the world’s easiest librarian,” said McDonald.
These kiosks bring a new dynamic to the parks. Community is being strengthened through book sharing.
If you are interested in donating books call the Village Hall at 822-1921