Growing literacy and community

Little Free Library opens in Camas neighborhood

What began with a text message has resulted in a small library.

The “library” is a 2-by 2.5 foot box on a post with donated books for all ages. The red box is located in the Evergreen Terrace neighborhood at 1331 N.E. Sixth Ave.

“The concept is simple,” said Geri Rubano, who coordinated the neighborhood efforts with her husband, Dan. “Give a book, take a book and return a book. The goal is grow literacy and community.”

Some of these goals have already been met, judging from the crowd that turned out for a ribbon cutting recently.

“It’s great,” said Dan Rubano. “It builds community and we get to know our neighbors better.”

Dan donated several hours to constructing the library. He was assisted by neighbor Rocky Fresh, who procured most of the recycled materials for the project.

The Little Free Library concept began in 2009 when Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a retired teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard.

It proved to be popular, and he built several more and gave them away, according to Each one had a sign that said, “Free Books.”

Today, there are more than 32,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges across the United States and over 70 countries around the world.

The one in the Evergreen Terrace neighborhood is the first registered in Camas.

“This was a community-wide effort,” Dan Rubano said. “It was fun and I am looking forward to the next project.”

Added neighbor Heather Fresh, “This was a great project. A lot of people have donated so far, and I have seen them taking books as well.”