Diminutive library branches out

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WALLA WALLA — The local Little Free Library has opened a new little branch.

The latest addition for the latest editions is located outside of the Children’s Museum, 77 Wainwright Drive.

Crafted from recyclable materials, the cabinet-style, double-door unit sits atop a four-legged platform outside of the museum, offering children and adults a chance to take a book or leave a book. No strings attached.

The project is an expansion of Walla Walla’s original Little Free Library at 1303 Alvarado Terrace. Spearheaded by then 9-year-old Kaileb Crewse with help from his family, the library was converted from a cabinet and stocked with donated books as part of the global movement to share books without expectations, checkouts or late fees.

“We have been so pleased to see how much the library at our home has been received and enjoyed,” said Kaileb’s mom, RaeJean Crewse, in an email. “It’s been about a year now and we have seen daily use from both neighborhood walkers and those that travel and park to use and exchange books.”

Nearly a year after the original was installed under a maple tree on the corner of the family’s sloped yard, the Children’s Museum seemed an ideal location to promote reading and offer a place for book dropoff and pickup, she said. Museum Director Tara Crain was an enthusiastic partner, she added.

In celebration of the installation, an official ribbon-cutting event will take place at the museum Saturday at 2 p.m. The museum will also host a free day for those who want to see what it’s all about.

The Little Free Libraries are located all over the country as a movement started in 2009 by Hudson, Wis., resident Todd Bol. He built a miniature model of a library as a tribute to his late mother. Not long after he partnered with a friend to start building them together and sharing the concept around the country. Last August the number of Little Free Libraries surpassed 2,509 — the number of libraries built and endowed by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

Walla Walla’s latest was a family affair, RaeJean said, extending beyond husband, Scott, and boys, Jordon, Kaileb and Brendon Crewse, to also include her father, Tom Crudup. Her hope is that this will be the second of many more to little libraries to come in the community, she said.

“We are hoping to be able to create more libraries to share in other neighborhoods throughout Walla Walla as we hope everyone will enjoy the sharing of books,” she said.

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