Hi everyone! Corrie is at the end of her spring semester for grad school, and has been a bit MIA lately but Lee has been doing an excellent job holding down the fort. This week we’re featuring a Little Free Library Steward! She does this project with her daughters, as well as provides book reviews on social media. We love that this is a family affair, especially because here at The Tiny Activist it’s the same! We hope you enjoy learning more about Little Light of Mine Library, and then get into some springy shenanigans afterwards in the sunshine. Happy weekend!!
The Tiny Activist: Introduce yourself!
Little Light of Mine: Hi! I’m a social worker and children’s book enthusiast. Last year I became a Little Free Library Steward along with my two daughters. By nature and profession, I’m a “helper”. How that looks may change from season to season but that part of me that desires and strives to “leave people better than I found them,” that hasn’t changed. I may not always get it right but I don’t intend to stop trying. Giving my children an opportunity to serve and doing it alongside them is one of the best gifts I believe I can give them and our community — an opportunity to cultivate a heart that doesn’t look away and instead looks to do something. I know we can’t tackle every problem present in our beautiful and broken world but making a difference in the life of one person, even in the smallest way, is a worthy pursuit.
TTA: What are you passionate about?
LLOM: Writing! I love writing particularly when my heart takes the lead and I use the keyboard (or a pen!) to share a piece of it. For a period of time I blogged as a freelance writer and contributor for mostly parenting sites. And then I stepped away from all of it. I immersed myself back into my work as a social worker and taking care of my family. Slowly but surely, I’m writing again. I adore children’s books and have always made reading a part of our routine at home. Books can be found sprinkled throughout the house, always within reach. My mother ensured that books could be as big of a part of my life as I wanted them to be. As a child I lived for the Scholastic school book fair, ate my fair share of personal pizzas thanks to the Book It! program and frequented the public library. If there was something I was interested in, I checked out as many books on the topic as I could. When it came time to make my case for getting a pet we headed to the library. I would like to think me having many pets growing up had something to do with my stellar research skills.
Recently I made the decision to start dreaming again and taking small steps in an effort to see if these dreams of mine will take flight. One of my dreams blends these two loves — writing and children’s books. I’m not sure what will come from it but I think that’s ok.
TTA: Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!
LLOM: Our Little Free Library! We opened it with the intention of giving something special to our community but we’ve gotten so much ourselves. Every time I turn on our street and see our library my heart smiles. My daughters and I love reading notes in the guest book. We get beyond excited when we notice books missing because it means they have found a place in the hands and homes of others. Eventually we want to share our library on a greater scale but currently we are figuring out how to sustain our Little Free Library long term as our number of visitors increases. Currently most of the books we share are ones we bought both brand new and from library sales, and from our personal library. We’ve also been blessed by the generosity of neighbors, family, friends and library visitors. Even people from Instagram who have never met us have shared stories that they’ve written or read with us. It has been the most affirming and humbling thing to see that people all over see what we are doing and believe in it.
Sometimes I worry we’ll run out of books but for me that’s telling. It tells me that this is something important to me, something I cherish.
In addition to being a Little Free Library Steward I’ve been writing book reviews on the blog and Instagram. My hope is that it will eventually lead to more books for the library. I dream of a day when authors and publishers send books our way regularly, books we will share online and in our library.
TTA: How can people support you on your journey?
LLOM: Prayers and good thoughts are appreciated. The support we’ve been given from the book sharing community has been unexpected and I am grateful for all of it. I feel like I’ve been blessed with friendships and mentors and get to be a part of something special simply by showing up and sharing stories that we love.
Beyond that, following along with us online, telling people about what we do and sharing your stories with us are all ways to support us on this adventure of ours. We happily accept donations and you can email us if you have a book you’d like us to consider reviewing. We strive to share books that encourage, inspire and give readers the tools to be bright lights in this world. The books that my daughters and I personally buy and share are ones that do that.
You can also support your local Little Free Library-to find one visit the world map! And if you decide to start one of your own let me know! My daughters and I would love to encourage and cheer you on!
TTA: What book was your favorite in 2018?
LLOM: It is hard to narrow it down to just one — there were two books that inspired me to be a better human and stayed with me long after I closed them — The Day You Begin written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael Lopez and The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld.
In some ways I’m just beginning, this library adventure is an example of that. I’ve already gotten so much from having the courage to start. Not waiting until we could get our yard landscaped or have some actual curb appeal. Not waiting until I felt braver (meeting new people tends to make me nervous) or worrying if someone heard the girls bickering in the backyard or learned that I don’t always have it together. Life is beautiful and messy and hard and precious, and from what I’ve seen, heard and read thus far we’re sharing something wonderful with our community. I’m human and therefore flawed but I’m ready to begin. I’m grateful for the chance to.
As for The Rabbit Listened, as someone with a deep love for words and who often uses them in excess, learning that they aren’t always needed or even wanted particularly when it comes to loved ones hasn’t come so easily. But more and more I’m striving to be a rabbit.
TTA: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
LLOM: This year has already been a rather challenging and heartbreaking one for my family and me. I’m currently juggling many things while striving to make time to water the seeds that I’ve planted, those dreams I’m dreaming.
This December we will be celebrating Little Light of Mine Library’s 1st birthday! As it gets closer, I hope to spend some time with my daughters talking about our hopes and goals for the library and organize our donations more efficiently so that we aren’t always eating dinner next to piles of books. I want to write more. I’m not sure what role the library will play in this but having the library has me writing and dreaming again. I look forward to reading more books with my family. And today I want to thank my husband and my mother for helping the girls and me make this Little Free Library dream a reality.
Thank you for having me today and for affirming the fact that our stories matter because they do. I’m honored that you wanted to know and share a piece of mine.