World’s 998th Little Free Library is in Everett

EVERETT — When Lori White’s neighbors need a book, they don’t have far to go.

At the corner of her north Everett yard is a library, built with the same spirit that propelled philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to start hundreds of libraries across the United States.

This one is just smaller.

This spring, White and her partner, Marc Baker, erected the world’s 998th Little Free Library, at the corner of 15th Street and Lombard Avenue.

The little library is part of a national movement started in Wisconsin meant to foster literacy and a stronger community.

Other little libraries are located in Freeland, Bothell and downtown Edmonds.

White saw a television news program on the effort and wanted to start one here.

“I looked at my partner and said, ‘That’s what I want for my birthday.’”

White, an office manager at a dental practice, believes in the power of a good book. She loves to read, preferring it over television in the evenings.

She insists that she’s not the owner of the library, just the steward.

“It does not belong to us,” she said. “It belongs to the neighborhood.”

A neighbor built the little library and then the couple unveiled it at a block party.

It looks like a tiny house on a pole.

Inside are two shelves: the top is labeled “folks” and, on a recent day, included novels by Frank McCourt, Dean Koontz and Anita Shreve.

The bottom shelf is for kids and held a mixture of favorites including a few classic Hardy Boys mysteries and “On the Banks of Plum Creek” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

A sign fixed to the library suggests, “Take a book, return a book.”

The selection varies as people do just that, White said. The few times someone has tried to slip in a pamphlet or book with an agenda, she removes it.

It’s not about that, she said.

She’s stocked the library with books from her own home, including classics she read to her son as child such as “The Adventures of Tintin” and “The Stonecutter” by Gerald McDermott. She also picks up low-cost books used to stock the library.

And others leave books, too.

The little library has become an excuse for strangers to stop and chat, for a father to sit down with his daughters right on the curb and start to read to them.

No one has vandalized it.

Across the street Merlin and Margrite Verhoeven have lived in their tidy home for 38 years. Merlin, a hobby woodworker, built the little library from scrapwood and $4 worth of supplies.

“All I’ve heard is positive,” he said of the neighborhood’s reaction.

“It’s helped people open up and meet each other,” his wife agreed.

Margrite Verhoeven’s observed quite a few people stop and check out the library — even teenage boys.

“If it gets teenage boys to read, that’s a good thing,” she said.

The Little Free Library website includes instructions for how to build and register one.

That information, as well as locations of the libraries, can be found online at www.littlefree

More in Local News

Residents are helping turn Casino Road in a new direction

An initiative backed by a $700,000 grant goes to the community for solutions to the area’s challenges.

It’s hard to find a parking spot at Wallace Falls State Park

There’s a study under way on how to tackle that issue and others.

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

2 names released from recent fatal crashes

Both men were killed earlier this month.

Man fatally shot in confrontation with deputies under US 2

No word yet on what led to the incident under the trestle east of Everett.

With an immigrant’s help, kids reach out to Filipino children

Marysville students drew and sent portraits. Thanks to a video, they got to see the reaction.

Most Read