Throughout my college career, I enjoyed wandering beyond campus to see what more Oshkosh had to offer. During the summers, I would stroll through the farmer’s marketing on Saturdays and would join my friends in our almost daily trip to the Menominee Park Zoo. Once I started venturing more into the neighborhoods, I started to notice these small, house-shaped boxes popping up. They grew throughout the years and I always wondered what they were. Finally, one day I took a walk down Menominee Drive and noticed one. I quickly ran over to it and, to my amazement, saw it was filled with books! At the bottom of the “house” was a sign saying, “Take a book, return a book.”
Inside the bookcase was a note giving information on how the library worked. The bottom of the note said, “We support reading for children, literacy for adults, and libraries around the world.” This lead me down a rabbit hole of trying to figure out how it came to Oshkosh and who were the people supporting this cause.
This is when I found Kayla Fox. In a similar situation as me, she saw the libraries all around town and wanted to know more about the “Little Free Libraries” movement. After investigating online, she noticed only a few were listed on their website. Since there was a registration fee, she figured that’s why not all the libraries weren’t listed. In September 2015, she decided to start the Oshkosh, Wi Little Free Libraries Facebook Page to make sure there would be a complete listing. With the help of co-admin, Madeline Knoblock, and the community, the page has been able to keep up with the new libraries in town.
Many of the libraries have a shelf for children books and another for adults. Trading in books is not required, but is definitely welcomed. Kayla tries to trade in as many books as she can, sometimes up to ten, since she’s noticed many of the libraries are running low.
In the future she hopes to create a “build a Free Little Library” contest. If you wish to donate or show encouragement to the Little Free Libraries, make sure to “like” their facebook page or check out one of their many locations! If you want to make your own, buy one from the official Little Free Libraries or want more information, check out their website.
I hope you enjoyed my first blog post! I want to keep these coming every Friday as a little #PhilanthropyFriday. I’ll be highlighting nonprofits and small businesses around the area who are trying to make a difference in the community. Eventually I may broaden my horizons, but for now I want to focus on Oshkosh and the Fox Valley. If you know anyone who would love their story to be told, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!