The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Little Free Libraries stewards come together


October 24, 2019 | View PDF

Debbie Hailey

A meeting was held with the stewards of the Little Free Libraries of Shafter. (Photo by Debbie Hailey)

A meeting was held recently bringing together stewards and other supporters of Shafter's Little Free Library system.

Lupe Velarde, a steward herself, hosted the gathering in her backyard in La Colonia on Oct 12. She was assisted by Melissa Bergen, Katie Wiebe and Jill O'Brien. About thirty people, big and little, delivered bags and boxes of books for the occasion, with more donated by Community Action Partnership for Kern County, Richland School and the City of Shafter. The books were made available for stewards to share with others, recycling free reading material throughout the town and beyond.

In honor of the late Ione Lollar, Shafter's first Little Free Library steward, the Lollar/Wolfe family provided each of Shafter's 20 Little Free Libraries the book Little Libraries, Big Heroes by Miranda Paul. It tells the story of how the system began and grew to encircle the world.

Susan Reep, the founder of Wendy's Words Little Free Libraries Network in Bakersfield, was a special guest at the event. Wendy's Words Libraries was the inspiration of our Shafter network begun in 2014, and Reep spoke about how the idea caught on and has spread worldwide.

At this point, seven years later, millions of books at both adult and children's levels have been distributed, encouraging reading and promoting education. Residents can look for the miniature library structures scattered through neighborhoods and downtown, browse the collections inside, take whatever is of interest, return or keep, and contribute extra books for others to enjoy.

Shafter is dotted throughout the city with Little Free Libraries, and each one has a different story to tell. They are decorated in different themes and colors, and have stewards who faithfully tend to them, keeping them clean and stocked with books

A large number of organizations throughout Shafter have also made sure that the libraries in Shafter have plenty of books, donating money and books to the cause.


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