Well!

It sure has been a busy couple of weeks!

The Little River Little Free Library opened for business on July 10, 2016! We had a really great turnout, and everyone brought books to exchange! 

Good Morning Gloucester’s Bridgette Mathews was kind enough to write this beautiful story about the opening, and she also included some fabulous pictures. 

Attendees included Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Ward 5 Councilor Sean Nolan, Councilor-at-Large Jamie O’Hara, and Awesome Gloucester Trustee Susan Gould Coviello! 

We’d like to thank those special people AND our next-door neighbor, Kris, who kindly helped us install the library. It’s in there as firm as anything! 

Over the last two weeks, we’ve been able to enjoy watching our neighbors and travelers from out of town look at the selection of books in there. There are lots of choices, and they’re changing all the time. This morning, we found several Babysitters’ Club books in there – always a favorite for Summer reading. 

We are putting a new guest book inside – the one we used at the opening is full of sweet messages and signatures from family, friends, and neighbors. We wanted to make sure to keep it safe, always. 

So please stop by! There’s a convenience store across the street where you can buy ice cream. There’s a beautiful river to enjoy. We’ve even heard – for those of you who are interested – that there’s a Geocache somewhere in the area. 

Thanks so much, and happy reading!

Open for business!
Mayor Theken leaves a book and takes a book!
Councilor Nolan has been there from the beginning!
Some of the excited attendees!

Why?

Libraries. Books. They are important.

My mother, Jackie Newton, was the Children’s and Youth Librarian at the Millicent Library in Fairhaven, MA, where I spent my chidlhood. It is impossible for me to fully describe her love for children and literacy in a WordPress post, but I will do my best.

As a typical kid, I had no idea how much work she really did. Here are some highlights:

  • She did Story Hour once a week for the toddler-and preschool-aged set.
  • She did movie nights for teens.
  • She coordinated summertime activities for preteens too young to work but too old for camp.
  • She was one of the librarians who got to drive Fairhaven’s Bookmobile until it was retired in 1986.
  • She took her book wagon and “Witchie-Poo” puppet to every elementary school in Fairhaven.
  • Yearly, she planned and executed an enormous event – the annual Teddy Bear Parade on our church lawn across the street from the library. She was one of many people who have made this special day possible since its inception in 1984.
  • She even helped to make accommodations as comfortable as possible for the Crown Prince of Japan and his wife, Princess Michiko, when they came to visit for the first Manjiro Festival in 1988. Here they are touring the library in the center of the picture, he in a gray suit and she in pink with a pillbox hat. Why all this fanfare, you ask? Here are another couple of cool links about the Manjiro Society and John Manjiro Nakahama.
  • We benefited from her work on a daily basis. We got to participate in almost every event she planned. Best part: she would always bring new books home for us to read! I marveled at her ability to read upside-down. She took great care to make everything interesting for us, including adopting different voices for book characters.

There is more, but these are some of the biggest things I remember.

Jackie did her soul’s work by helping children learn to love reading. She also helped to energize our community through planning fun events and innovative ways to learn.

When I heard that our friend, librarian Ann Richard, had founded Fairhaven’s first Little Free Library outside the house on Hedge Street where my mother grew up, my mind was blown. I wanted to do something to honor my mother’s memory in a way that would also be good and fun for Gloucester, the community where our ancestors settled and where our family began. I thought that founding a Little Free Library in Gloucester would be the perfect way to do it. Over a year later, here we are!

Thank you for your support. Thank you for reading. See you on the Landing!

Awesome Gloucester Grant

With the BIGGEST THANKS to the Awesome Gloucester trustees for their generosity in awarding the Little River LFL with an Awesome Gloucester micro-grant at Awesome Gloucester Pitch Night tonight! 

The grant will be put toward maintaining the landscape at the landing, keeping the LFL stocked with books from the Second Glance Thrift Store (benefiting the Open Door Food Pantry), and – here’s something equally exciting – there is enough money budgeted in this grant to help 6 other Gloucester Little Free Libraries with the registration fee and a special stamp. 
Three entities have expressed interest in opening up their own LFL’s in town. If you are interested, please contact me at littleriversteward@gmail.com ASAP! 

Thanks to Awesome Gloucester for all its work in keeping our community interesting, fun, and…AWESOME!