Little Free Libraries Liven Up Lee's Summit

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Story by: Abbey Stoetzel

One might have noticed a plethora of “Little Free Libraries” popping up around neighborhoods, suburbs and cities. A Little Free Library is a small stand (usually schoolhouse shaped) that serves as a free library to a community. The motto is simply: “Take a book, leave a book.”

Dave Eames, a resident of Lee’s Summit, has built a Little Free Library in his own front yard.

“The Library was a birthday gift to my wife, Kelly. She is a 6th grade teacher, here in Lee’s Summit, and loves reading. So, it was a perfect way to celebrate her love of sharing books,” Eames said.

Dave Eames's library continues to be a popular attraction for readers all around Lee's Summit. Eames got his library back in April 2013.
Dave Eames’s library continues to be a popular attraction for readers all around Lee’s Summit. Eames got his library back in April 2013. Photo by: Taleah Richards

Eames unveiled the library in April of 2013, but has also built several other libraries since.

“This summer, I built a LFL for the Ellen Noel Art Museum in Odessa, Texas. Also, you can find LFLs at Summit Pointe Elementary and Longview Farm Elementary in Lee’s Summit. There is one I made at Raintree Lake, also,” said Eames.

Senior Lindsey Schifferdecker frequents the library in Raintree Lake that was built by Eames.

“It is convenient and cool to go to. I get to read new books I normally wouldn’t find at a library,” said Schifferdecker.

Freshmen Caroline Williams has only heard of the Little Free Libraries.

“I think it’s a good way to recycle old books that you don’t really read anymore but you won’t ever find any books that you are dying to read,” said Williams.

Eames said that he loves having the library in his yard.

“It is a great way to share books and meet neighbors. Not a day goes by, that I do not see someone perusing the books,” said Eames. “People are free to take whatever they like. We have had lots of comments from people who love having the Library nearby. It is a simple act of community-building that is important to my family. Sharing what we all have with others is good for all of us. We have put games and art supplies in the Library, too. I enjoy seeing people stop while walking, on their bikes or pulling up in a car to check out the latest collection in the Library. We check the Library daily, to make sure there is something for all ages.”

Schifferdecker also agrees it is a good idea for a community.

“It’s cool how anyone can stop by if they’re on a walk or run and get a new book,” Schifferdecker said.

Eames’ library can be found at 601 SE Miller St. Lee’s Summit, Missouri, 64063. For a list of all libraries and more information on Little Free Libraries, visit littlefreelibrary.org.

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