At the quiet corner of North Fowler Street and Church Street in Bishop, there’s a small but mighty new institution – a Little Free Library! Local nonprofit Eastern Sierra Land Trust has installed this free community resource outside their office at 250 North Fowler Street for everyone to enjoy. Reading changes lives, and this Little Free Library is already lighting up our neighborhood with the power of sharing books!
Books will now always be available for exchange inside the box at the top of this small structure. All community members are encouraged to come there to take a book or share a book anytime. The structure itself looks like an oversized wooden mailbox, and its construction was a community effort. Student volunteers from Orange Lutheran High School built the underlying structure, which was then decorated by Eastern Sierra Land Trust’s Land Conservation Program Director Susanna Danner with beautiful detailed paintings of Eastern Sierra native species on each side. While an acrylic rendition of a Halictid Bee graces the back of the Library, illustrations of a male Anna’s Hummingbird and a male Owens Pupfish wrap around each side.
The first Little Free Library was built only 10 years ago in Hudson, Wisconsin, and already they are an international phenomenon. Today there are over 90,000 libraries worldwide in over 90 countries, and they exchange millions of books each year. Users frequently report that their local Little Free Library has led them to meet new neighbors and to read books they otherwise wouldn’t have read.
They look quiet, but these community resources are lively – they build community, spark creativity, and inspire readers. And pedestrians on North Fowler Street have noticed that this library is no exception. The books inside are different almost every day, indicating that books circulate quickly through our neighborhoods. For example, a Steven King novel that appeared in the collection early on was picked up within the week. A North Fowler Street resident later told Eastern Sierra Land Trust staff that he had relished the book, which was a favorite from his childhood. The Little Free Library is full of picture books for kids right now, including beautiful Winnie the Pooh books and Clifford the Big Red Dog paperbacks.
So if you’re looking for some good summer reading for yourself or your family members, stop by this new Little Free Library! Let our local community put new thoughts in your head, in your life, and in your summer. This new institution is a fun way that Bishop is quietly connecting this season – by sharing powerful thoughts and ideas, locally.
Eastern Sierra Land Trust works with willing landowners to conserve vital lands in the Eastern Sierra for their scenic, agricultural, natural, recreational, historical and watershed values. To learn more about ESLT’s ongoing work and how to get involved, please visit www.eslt.org.