After visiting the Centinela Adobe, I noticed a mailbox-looking contraption in the yard of a nearby home. Upon further inspection, I saw this box contained books and boasted that it was a “Little Free Library“. A quick online search showed me that this type of item is a global phenomenon! Since then, I’d harbored dreams of completing one. The site’s map and appendix show NO Little Free Libraries in Inglewood at all! It’s possible some are sneaking under the radar and not registered, but it does appear that ours would be the city’s first one.
During one of our productive dog walks, we stumbled upon a set of old, dilapidated cabinets. The cracked paint fell off so easily that my car looked like a demolition site after transporting the cabinets only two blocks! Check out one of the cabinets in its native state.
I could see the potential in these immediately, however. The black cut-glass drawer pulls and knobs, the real glass doors and intact muntins… These would be useful. I’m planning to put two in the backyard with plants in them (leaving them mostly dilapidated), maybe near or as part of the tea-time succulent garden. I’m also planning to put one in the bathroom, since it lacks useful storage space. And this fourth one is now a Little Free Library.
We removed the back of the cabinet, power-sanded the wood several times over with 60-grit pads, removed the drawer and permanently adhered its face, painstakingly removed the paint from the hardware and then the hardware itself, evened out the bottom of the cabinet, primed and painted, scraped the window, added a spring door closer and latch, re-installed the hardware, mounted 2x4s to the exterior wall, mounted the cabinet downward onto the 2x4s, added our official charter sign, drilled vent holes in the bottom, and sealed the cabinet to the wall. We’d found someone donating over 150 books very close to us on Craigslist Free, so we have plenty to stock the library for the first few weeks/months.
Within hours, the first book had disappeared (it was a Harry Potter book). And within 24 hours, I saw a man holding a camera and looking through the books as I pulled into the garage. When I said hello, he told me he was with the newspaper, and asked me for a quote about the library! He also collects old books and asked if he could bring some of them to contribute. A few hours later, another woman was walking by as we headed out to the store, and she interrupted her phone conversation to ask if she could bring some books by for it.
This is BY FAR my favorite project we’ve done. Seeing it start to impact the community so immediately is fantastic! Stay tuned for the next community project we’re up to!