First, let me go on record to say that a public, well-funded neighborhood library elevates the civic and cultural well-being of society. But as Texas librarian Brian Kemp demonstrates, there is also a place for free, public book deposits where members of a community simply circulate good reads.
I met Brian a couple weeks ago at TLA (Texas Library Association) in San Antonio. As the librarian of the private St. Louis School in Austin, he’s a guy who feels passionately about his work, so much that he doesn’t mind bringing his work home. (Why encourage reading just within the confines of your school?)
The Neighborhood Libary Experiment
So he built this beautiful, red book receptacle and told me he plans to install it in front of his house. He says his wife, who is a journalist, is game for the experiment. They’ll both be curious to see how the community interacts with the block’s newest lawn ornament. I’m guessing fewer books in nearby homes will gather dust. Brian would know better than I, but I believe this is how public libraries came about in our country.
Three cheers for Mr. Kemp, the professional—and community—librarian for “being the change” he wants to see!