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'Little Free Libraries' Catching On In Door County

Sometimes the name for something isn't an accurate description of what it actually is.

That's not the case with Little Free Libraries. They're exactly what the name implies.

They're little -- oftentimes mounted on a pole; They're free -- at least the books inside them are free; and if the definition of a library is a place to borrow books, well, they've got that covered too. The concept is simple: take a book, leave a book. 

And more and more of them are popping up all over, including in Door County.

Pat and Judy Fitzgerald of Jacksonport opened their Little Free Library on Lakeshore Road on May 20

Pat and Judy Fitzgerald of Jacksonport 'opened' their Little Free Library on Lakeshore Road May 20. Judy says it didn't take long before they had a message on their phone asking about it. 

Pat says their library was built by neighbor Rod DeMaranville out of a white cedar log milled by Jamie Henschel at Henschel Sawmill. A cedar bench sits nearby. Pat says it's a great spot.

"Often people have their own books and once you've read a good book it's kind of a waste to just put it on a shelf," says Pat. "This is a way of sharing that book, of getting it out there and letting someone else experience it also."

Theirs is not the only Little Free Library in Jacksonport. The Jacksonport Women's Club recently put one up in Lakeside Park. 

In Sturgeon Bay, Rick and Stella Rogers took some time to show us their lighthouse-themed Little Free Library at 308 S. 12th Avenue.

Sturgeon Bay's Rick and Stella Rogers in front of their lighthouse-themed Little Free Library at 308 S. 12th Avenue

Stella says the little library seed was planted a couple of months ago when the couple received alumni magazines from Beloit College and UW-Madison -- both of which had feature stories about Little Free Libraries.

"The idea just completely enchanted us," says Stella.

Stella says their library has seen plenty of business and one type of book has been especially popular.

Rick says the Little Free Library is not only about books but about bringing people together.

Local teacher Michaela Holey shows off her Little Free Library on N. 19th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay. Michaela and Mark Holey were the high bidders on the library at an auction at this year's Sustainability Fair

The Rogers also had a hand in another Little Free Library in Sturgeon Bay. Rick built one of the miniature book buildings to be an auction item at this year's Sustainability Fair in Sturgeon Bay (at which Little Free Library co-founder Richard Brooks was a speaker). The high bidders were Mark and Michaela Holey, who added their own fish-related touches and now have it up and running at 410 N. 19th Avenue.

More information about Little Free Libraries can be found here.

The Little Free Library at Lakeside Park is sponsored by the Jacksonport Women's Club


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