Monday, November 23, 2015

LaLa's Little Library

A few years ago while doing our 3-day training, our group came across a “little library.” For those of you who don’t know, a little library is a small box put outside a home. The box is filled with books, and passers-by are encouraged to select a book and read it, either right then and there, or by taking it home and reading it. I thought it was a great idea, and thought I would like to have one some day.

Fast-forward a few years, and it seemed like the time was right to get this project started. I looked around at possible DIY plans, but decided against that – figured the eventual cost (mental, physical, emotional, and financial) would be exorbitant. I went to the best source I knew, Etsy, and studied a few different vendors.

I eventually chose a builder from Mississippi (my home state) who had several projects that he had completed in Mississippi State colors (that would be maroon and white). We corresponded back and forth, and a few weeks later my little library arrived in the mail (well actually in a huge FedEx box, but you get the idea).

The next step was installation. The little library came with installation instructions, which I naturally skimmed and put to the side. My first choice was for Molly to contact her friend Ashley, who does all kinds of DIY home projects, and ask her to install said library. Molly did, and Ashley said she would – on Wednesday. Of course I was impatient and would have preferred her to come right over that minute and do it, but since the alternative would be for me to do it, I agreed that Wednesday would work.

And then today turned out to be a beautiful clear day and library installation thoughts began to flood my poor little addled brain – after all, I had steadied and improved the mail box – certainly I could work wonders with this project. I started out by asking the family if anyone had a post hole digger (I was fairly certain that we had had one in the past, and perhaps had passed it along to someone). Alas, no one had a digger. So, off I went in my wee little car to Home Depot.

At HD, I had a list – a post hole digger, a bag-o-cement, a post on which to mount the little library, and some screws to secure the library to the post. The first two items were easy to procure – mainly because there wasn’t much of a choice to make. The main thing was selecting the post. First I looked in the mailbox section and really didn’t find anything to my liking. I wandered about in the wood/fence areas and finally came upon some mailbox posts and decided that I would go with the one that had a cross bar on it. I managed to heave it into the buggy, get the requisite (or so I determined) screws, check out, and wedge it all into my wee little car.

Once home, I had the foresight to pre-drill the holes in which I would be securing the library. Mainly because I knew my lengths of electrical extension cords would not reach from my house to the little library location (I am old-school and do not have one of those fancy big-battery drills). Once that was obtained, I got the digger, the concrete, and the post and headed outside (in several trips, mind you).

I knew that I wanted the library in the front yard, not too far from the street and driveway, but safe, and under a tree. Several hole attempts later, I found the location (mainly because it was the first place I attempted the hole where I did not run into one of the tree’s mammoth roots). I started the hole, and what seemed like years later, I actually had a hole that met my requirements (which I had questionably decided upon by some whackadoodle process inside after pre-drilling the holes). Anyhow, I dropped the post into the ground and started dumping the concrete in.

I had actually also brought out my level (mainly because the enclosed library instructions suggested it) and actually made sure the post was level (more or less) as I dumped concrete in. Once I decided it was level (more or less), I poured in the water, mixed it all about a bit, checked the level again, and decided all was good. Now all I had to do was wait for the concrete to set.

And so it did. I finished off the bottom similar to what I had done for the mailbox. Then I mounted the library onto its new home, filled it with books, and declared LaLa’s Little Library open for business! Now to see if I ever have any patrons …

Yup, that's where I live!!
Ready for checkout!!
Thankful today for: fun times at Home Depot; successful installation of little library; super-terrific little library and dude who made it; beautiful fall day; chat with neighbor about little library; Everley time

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