Twice a year, everyone here at Cottage Door Press gets together for “State of the Cottage” meetings. It’s a time to share news about recent achievements and to talk and think as a group about future plans. It’s also a time for an all-company outing or team-building event.

For our event at last week’s State of the Cottage, our Senior Art Director, Angie Hodges, came up with the perfect project: building and decorating Little Free Libraries. Not only did the project get our creative juices flowing—it also put into action our commitment to work with other organizations to support literacy and increase access to books. We know that one of the best ways to improve the reading achievement of children is to increase their exposure to books, and Little Free Library does just that!Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that fosters “take a book, return a book” book exchanges. The little libraries come in many shapes and sizes, often with unique personal touches. Thanks to Little Free Libraries all over the globe, “millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.” How awesome that regular people are sharing their favorite books with their neighbors. It’s like your own community book club!

Little Free Libraries are often installed in front yards, where anyone walking by can stop and browse. One of our libraries will be proudly installed in front of our office, while the other two will be donated to organizations in our community.

We are very fortunate that our owner, Dick Maddrell, is a master craftsman. In fact, his workshop doubles as his office at the Cottage. He eagerly took on the challenge of building the libraries (out of reclaimed wood!) and knocked out all three in a weekend. Then we were ready to start decorating three beautiful libraries for our town.

This project truly became a labor of love, and the finishing touches are still underway. They’re all too adorable to pick a “winner,” so we’ll be drawing a number out of a hat to see which one stays at the Cottage.

If you’re interested in having a Little Free Library of your own but aren’t as handy as Mr. Maddrell, kits are available for purchase. Help spread the love of books in your community!


Photo gallery of our Little Free Library team-building event