Poland family shares books

Opens little free library in yard

Submitted photo Brian Stanley and his 8-year-old son Cameron stock books at the Little Free Library at their home in Poland Village.

POLAND — Located on the corner of Island Drive and Sheridan Road in Poland Village is a new addition to the neighborhood: a library.

It isn’t just any library: It’s a free library organized by the Stanley family.

The Little Free Library kicked off June 23, after patriarch Brian came across the idea “a while back,” he said.

Then, Brian took the thought to his 8-year-old son Cameron, “director of marketing,” who was excited. Next, the duo researched how free neighborhood libraries work. Brian then went to the village zoning department to make sure he was able to build the little structure. Village officials were “fantastic” at helping Brian navigate where on the property line he could install the cement post that holds the little library.

Reception has been positive, with people going up to the library within hours of Brian and Cameron putting the finishing touches on the structure.

“I’m very happily surprised at the response everybody has given toward it,” Brian said, with Cameron adding: “We’ve seen many people going over to the library.”

The motivation behind bringing the library to the community is simple.

“We just wanted to make people happy,” Cameron said.

Both Brian and Cameron have been looking for books at garage sales, but there is also a basket at the bottom of the library, which the father-son duo constructed and painted.

Patrons have already started donating, and the goal is for the library to be self-sustaining after a while, Brian said.

Once Brian started a social media page for the library, he and wife Mallory noticed people were leaving books on their front porch, Brian said.

Most of the books donated and offered through the Little Free Library are young children’s books, but books for any age are welcome. Works in the Young Adult genre, by Judy Blume or Beverly Clearly, for example, are encouraged, Brian said.

Cameron himself reads more science and gaming books, while Brian’s favorite book is “The Three Muskateers.”

The new venture makes the duo feel good about offering something to give back to their community.

“It makes me feel amazing because I know they’ll like it. So do I,” Cameron said.

“If I had known how joyous, how much fun it is,” Brian and Cameron would have introduced the library last year, Brian said.

The library comes about a year after another unveiling happened at the Stanley homestead.

Last year, Brian and Cameron teamed up to recreate famous art or posters and use them to frame a hole cut out for their dogs, Ripley and Burger, who stick their faces out to greet walkers and neighbors.

Talks of a walking path in the vicinity of the Stanley home are underway, and Brian’s already brainstorming how to engage the community.

“I’ve got so many ideas,” Brian said. He would like to primer a portion of fence and leave it for folks to paint, possibly school students or community members in general.

Echoing Cameron, Brian said he is grateful to be a positive part of people’s day.

“I dig the fact our own little corner of the world, I hope, makes people happy,” Brian said.


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