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Nancy’s First Love?

September 8, 2012

If you talk to Nancy Thompson, she will tell you that her life has revolved around libraries. Here’s how her library-filled life has played out up to now:

  • Her first job, at 18 years old, was working as a page at the original Jeffersonville Carnegie Library. She was attending IUS, which at the time was in the neighboring building and after class, all she had to do was walk from one to the next to get to her job. Nancy has worked part-time at the library most of her life. She worked at the main branch for 24 years, the first 2  at the Carnegie and 22 at it’s present location. She’s now at the Clarksville Branch and has been there for 8 years. In all, she’s been working at the library for a grand total of 34 years.
  • She met her husband at the Jeffersonville Carnegie Library. I guess you could say books and libraries were Nancy’s first love because it took Al some time to get her attention. The poor guy had to ask her out 7 times before she said yes. He gave her 7 roses on their first date. That apparently worked well but one does wonder what may have happened if he gave her 7 books.

Now, considering all of this history it’s no wonder that an article she saw in a paper about Little Free Libraries caught her eye. She was intrigued.

Meanwhile, her daughter, Shelley, met a nice fellow who caught her eye.  She was intrigued too, but we’ll get back to that in a minute.

Nancy took the next step and came to a local meeting intended to network with other people interested in the Little Library idea. It sounded like a good project but after she left she really wasn’t sure how she might be able to get one built.  She had her idea though – Nancy wanted a Little Library modeled after the Jeffersonville Carnegie Library.

Now, remember that nice fellow her daughter met at the same time Nancy discovered the Little Free Library project? Well his name is Richie Grimes and Shelley really hit it off with this guy and they ended up getting married this past February. As Nancy got to know Richie, she learned he is a carpenter and builder by trade. He works as a Project Manager for a contracting business, Coupe Construction, in his “day job,” but loves to do individualized and specialized carpentry work.

Considering Richie’s talents, Nancy thought he could help so she told him about her idea to build a model for a Little Free Library and asked her new son-in-law if he would be interested. Not only did he agree to help, he also had his own connections to the Carnegie Library. Richie was part of the team that did the recent lavish renovation of the original Carnegie Library in Jeffersonville – the very library that started it all for Nancy. He even had the blueprints from the renovation in his house! Richie also is the craftsman who hand-built the huge wooden doors inside the building.

Since Richie had renovated Nancy’s first love, the connections were so deep now that Nancy just knew this project was meant to be. Although she kind of regretted it later because she didn’t get to watch the process, Nancy decided she didn’t want to see it until it was finished. The project was unveiled during a recent family party at her home. Here’s what Nancy first saw of her new library:

And here’s what she saw after removal of the cover:

Isn’t that just amazing? Phyllis Wilkins may have described it best when she said it is “stunning.” Nancy tells us that the first thing most people do when they walk up to the library is feel the “bricks,” which are actually mosaic tiles. Here’s a close up of the tiles:

The ingeniousness of a creative craftsman is never ending it seems. The dome is actually a metal bowl.

It’s very intricate, the front doors even have tiny little handles on them.

Those doors do not open though. This library actually opens in the back for access to the books. Lots and lots of books.

Nancy says her new son-in-law deserves all the credit for this piece of art and can’t thank him enough for building it for her. Here’s a photo of Nancy, Richie and Nancy’s two grandchildren, Nicole Grimes and Macie Comingore.

Here’s one more photo of Nancy with her husband Al. The two of them would like to invite everyone to stop by their Little Free Library. Take a look and take a book. The address is  1303 Sportsman Court, Jeffersonville Indiana.


Little Library From Scrap Lumber

August 29, 2012

The Oak Park neighborhood in Jeffersonville has a Little Free Library at 509 Hemlock Road, which is part of the Oak Park 8th Addition. This library is a perfect tribute to the idea of recycling because not only will books be recycled among those who love to read, the library itself was built with scrap lumber scraped up from several sites by some scrappy people!

Mike and Marilyn Czape are the stewards of this Little Library “in honor of the Oak Park Pride Subdivision.” That’s Mike in the photo below pictured with the library. Their neighbor Jerry Windell helped install it in the Czape’s front yard.

Marilyn tells us more about the origin of this Little Free Library,

“Our neighborhood association wanted the library for the purpose of helping to install a sense of community in our neighborhood.  We do not have a theme but we asked neighbors for a favorite book or magazine for all to share.  We did also ask that the donator write a little something in the book to help with our objective.   Our library was built by my husband Mike and our friend from New Albany, Paul Receveur.  Paul is a construction hobbyist to the highest degree.  Before retirement, (in addition to being a family doctor to half of NA) he also did construction work on the side.”

Clark County Youth Shelter Little Library

August 23, 2012

Southern Indiana now has the second of two memorial libraries purchased by the Jeffersonville Rotary up and running. We reported on the first one, dedicated in memory of Rotary member Charley Reisert here. This Little Free Library is dedicated in memory of Dr. Ed Crooks, who was also a long-time member of the Rotary.

A decision was made to locate this Little Free Library at the Clark County Youth Shelter  since Dr. Crooks was a founding board member. The Shelter is located at 118 East Chestnut Street , which is in downtown Jeffersonville, just a 1/2 block off of Spring Street.

Laura Fleming-Balmer, Executive Director of the Shelter reports that books are flying out of this library from all age groups:

“Staff have seen kids, adults, and families with children looking through the books.  We have a variety of books from John Grisham to children’s bedtime stories.  I have had to fill the library about 4 times already.  We have had books donated by staff, board members (Perry Reisert), and community members through our Facebook page.  We have also had inquires from our Facebook posts about how to start a library – even one from out of state.  So…it has been neat to know our postings about our library have sparked interest elsewhere as well!!”


Local Library Dedicated to Ill Children

August 22, 2012

(This post written by Debbie Harbeson.)

Little Free Libraries continue to pop up in Southern Indiana! I recently found one in New Albany while on a weekend bike ride. The library is actually on Saint Joseph Road, but if you happen to be traveling towards Saint Joseph on Carver Street (which is right across from Graceland Baptist Church), when you reach the intersection of Saint Joseph and Carver, the library will be right smack dab in front of you.

This library is courtesy of Sarah Spivey, and the specific address is 3909 St. Joseph Road. To give you another landmark to help you find it, this library is just a block or two away from Community Montessori School. As you can see in the photos below it is next to a wonderfully huge Blue Spruce in the front yard and can be hidden if you are traveling towards the school.

This library has a note accompanying it which says “In memory of children, who are ill, have been ill and who have died – those who have died and left books and their love of reading behind for our enjoyment.”

Sarah is very pleased with the neighborhood response. “People have been stopping, taking books and leaving new ones. I am delighted.”
We are too Sarah, thanks for adding to the local supply of Little Free Libraries!

Another Little Free Library from Henryville

July 19, 2012

The photos below were taken at the Henryville Correctional Facility, where, as we have posted before, builders are working on several libraries modeled after Indiana covered bridges. (Click here to read about the first library they built modeled after the Scipio Covered Bridge in Jennings County.)

However, the library in these photos is not part of the covered bridge project – the men planned this one on their own.  You can see in the photos that they included a cross in their design, which is an optional piece. We don’t know yet where this library may end up but this optional piece can be included if it is appropriate to the location. The last photo is of the finished library without that option attached.



Ron Gibson reports that more libraries using the covered bridge theme are in the works and we’ll post more on that whenever they come in.

A Push from the Younger Generation

July 8, 2012

Like the rest of us here at Little Free Library Indiana, when New Albany resident Sophia Kimbell heard about the Little Library concept, she knew she wanted to be a participant. She immediately started thinking of the possibilities and, being a real go-getter, she’s been quite busy turning those possibilities into reality.

Sophia already has her first Little Library up and running inside the office of her orthodontist’s office. To make the library, she transformed an old dollhouse. Take a look:

Explaining her choice of location, Sophia says,

“I started with the orthodontist’s office (Dr. Ernstberger) because I knew it was a place where people could sit and read and I know what this age group likes to read. The library is an old dollhouse with books ranging from children’s short stories to teen graphic novels. This library is indoors, so it should mostly be used by patients and their families.”

An orthodontist’s office is such a great idea. As anyone who has ever had braces knows, it takes quite a few visits to complete orthodontic treatment so the children can borrow a book and easily return it during the next visit. A big thank you to Dr. Seth Ernstberger for agreeing to host Sophia’s Little Library!

Energetic Sophia is not stopping there though. She wants to reach even more people and plans to install at least two more in Southern Indiana.

“For my more public Little Free Libraries, I’m looking for a place for all ages. I may check with the Parks Department to see about building one in Letty Walter Park. About three years ago, one of my friends and I wrote grants to plant trees and place benches there.

I’ll also make another indoor library for Tammy’s Private Collection salon in Sellersburg.”

We are looking forward to seeing photos of those projects. Nice work Sophia!

Little Free Library Modeled after Indiana Covered Bridge

July 5, 2012

Several months ago Little Free Library Indiana’s founder Phyllis Wilkins approached officials at the Henryville Correctional Facility to see if they might be interested in using the Little Free Library concept as a building project for the center. (Phyllis is a member of their Community Advisory Board.)

They thought it sounded like a great idea and added their own unique twist: they decided to model all the the libraries built at the facility after Indiana covered bridges.

The first one has been completed and it is modeled after a bridge located in Jennings County, Indiana, known as the Scipio Bridge. Here is a photo of the original bridge:

And below is the Little Free Library that was modeled after that bridge.  (Pictured with the library is John Pelsor, who delivered the Little Library to Phyllis. Thanks John!)

Superintendent of the Facility, Ron Gibson told us that “the offenders really got into the project and were very proud that they were able to assist.”

The next step was figuring out where to place it in the community. As reported before, the Jeffersonville Rotary gave grant money to purchase one for the Clark County Youth Shelter, so the idea was proposed that this library be donated to the Floyd County Youth Shelter. The folks at the Floyd County Youth Shelter happily accepted and are now working on finalizing the plans for placement of the library pictured above.

Henryville Correctional Facility is currently working on two more Little Free Libraries modeled after covered bridges. Can’t wait to see those!