One Bad Egg


No, this isn’t a post about the chickens.  Their eggs are great.

This is about our Little Free Library, and why it is closed, as of today.

Just a handful of books, and the note. Everything was gone the next day.

In all, our community has been amazing about our Little Free Library.  People love it.  People were always so generous with their books and they respected the “take a book, leave a book” philosophy.  Our problems have been few and far between.  Until a few weeks ago.

A woman rolls up, empties all of the new books out of the Library, and leaves.  Sometimes she leaves with her arms full of books.  But she clears out all but a handful of romance novels that have been there for a few months.  She never leaves a book, she only takes.  And she takes almost everything, every single time.

I gave her the benefit of the doubt – maybe she didn’t understand the rules.  I left a note clarifying that if you aren’t donating any books, please restrict yourself to one or two books.  Well, she showed me:  she took all the books AND the note this time.

I’ve had it.  The Little Free Library isn’t here to benefit just one person.

It is there to benefit the wonderful people that we’ve seen sharing their books.  The joggers who do a double take, stop and peruse, and then continue their run with a book or two in hand.

It is there for the older couple we met last fall.  They thanked us for the “drive-up” library.  The wife is an avid reader, but also disabled and cannot get to the public library or bookstores easily.  Books from the “drive-up” library brought her hours of enjoyment.  And they donated three BOXES of books, too.

The Little Free Library is there for the kids who find a new story and choose a book over a TV show one night because they found something interesting and new in the Library.

The Little Free Library is for all the geocachers, too.  We love you guys, and we love that you’ve enjoyed the adventure that brought you here.

But it isn’t for just one woman.  Because she leaves just the romance novels, I suspect she is scooping up the books and taking them to Half Price Books, where they buy books by the bagful for pennies on the dollar, and they generally reject romances.  But whatever her motive, it is inexcusable.  And I am pretty powerless to stop it.

It was a good run.  I hope we’ll reopen again.  But right now?  One bad egg has spoiled a wonderful thing.

Please spread the word.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Filed under Green Living

6 Responses to One Bad Egg

  1. Mark

    My wife showed me this. Very sad that this happened.

    If this kind of thing happens in the future, here’s a possible solution:

    Set up an Arduino with a camera shield, attach a magnetic sensor to it (which will be hidden in the jamb of the library door), and code it to take a stream of photos whenever the door is opened. You could have it wirelessly transmit the photos to a computer elsewhere, or just store them locally for you to retrieve. You could hide the camera just above the sign.

    Then, post the picture of the thief on the web and on the library itself. Publicly shame them. Maybe that will inspire them to knock it off.

    If you’re not of the hacker mentality, depending on where you are, you could probably find someone at a local hackerspace who would love to help you out with this. We have one here in Madison, WI called Sector67. The people there are awesome, very open and friendly, and I imagine they’d be angry about your story and motivated to help. You probably have something similar where you are.

    • Brian Paasch

      Knowing my friend here, she’d probably be more against the idea of spreading the person’s identity on the internet for public shaming.

      Yes, what the woman is doing is deplorable and takes advantage of a kind act, but relying on a public mob is almost never a good solution. I think we’ve all seen too many instances where the internet got involved and things got way out of hand.

      @Jenn- I’m sorry to hear about the library. It’s a shame one person has to take advantage of your generosity and this great project in community building and ruin it for everyone. Maybe if you have a month with the library down she’ll give up coming there and you could give it another try.

  2. Brit Springer

    Awe I am so sorry that is happening! BUT I hope you reopen in time and don’t let her ruin it for you or others :(

  3. The Many Thoughts of a Reader

    What a hooker! Even though it it is closed, I’d still put a sticky note up so the hooker knows she is a hooker. SERIOUSLY, garage sales sell books at like a quarter. Ugh. I’m angry.

  4. andrea o.

    I put Little Free Library stickers on my books with the library number written on it (I scanned the original stickers I received with the library). I honestly don’t know if it would help in a situation like this, but maybe it would help. I did this for my books because I remember how I was with books as a kid, and I figured it might help the more observant (aka involved with their children) parents out there know what books came from school / public libraries and what did not.

  5. Brazil Book

    O livro TOP20 do quadrimestre no Instagram.$ Vale espiar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge