The rake lady is just now realizing she forgot about Mardi Gras. Oh well, she'll wear her mask now. (She looks downright diabolical!) She's holding a leafy wand instead of her jester wand. She figured that one was safer on the porch from the diabolical thieves who took the Halloween figures from the top of the LFL She's crafty, too! Happy belated Mardi Gras!

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The Little Free Library of Windsor and Dewitt updated their cover photo.
16 hrs
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Celebrating Black History Month! Honoring the past. Inspiring the future.

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Happy Chinese New Year! The year of the dog!

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Happy Valentine's Day from The Little Free Library of Windsor and Dewitt! (and the Rake Lady says hi, too)

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A Valentine story... loving books. (Love is all around)

Turkish garbage collectors in the country’s capital city of Ankara have opened a public library that is full of books that were originally destined to be put into landfill. The workers began collecting discarded books and opened the new library in the Çankaya district of Ankara. News of the libra...

Looking forward to sunshine... and loving our valentines...

The Word
by Tony Hoagland


Down near the bottom
of the crossed-out list
of things you have to do today,

between "green thread"
and "broccoli," you find
that you have penciled "sunlight."

Resting on the page, the word
is beautiful. It touches you
as if you had a friend

and sunlight were a present
he had sent from someplace distant
as this morning—to cheer you up,

and to remind you that,
among your duties, pleasure
is a thing

that also needs accomplishing.
Do you remember?
that time and light are kinds

of love, and love
is no less practical
than a coffee grinder

or a safe spare tire?
Tomorrow you may be utterly
without a clue,

but today you get a telegram
from the heart in exile,
proclaiming that the kingdom

still exists,
the king and queen alive,
still speaking to their children,

—to any one among them
who can find the time
to sit out in the sun and listen.

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We always love books!
(Come find one in the LFL and check out the Valentine decorations!)

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My sons are grown, and I don't have grandkids, and I'm not much in the loop about recent kids books like I used to be. So I always love these lists of books... and maybe you'll see one or two you want to buy and then later share in the LFL with others.

I love the books about women scientists... those stories we often don't know. But still, one book that caught my eye was "The Hat That Wore Clara B" since I just laminated a poem for the Tops of Old Town store for my of the Avenue in April (poetry month). I had several poems in hand, but was tending toward "God Send Easter" by Lucille Clifton. I love Clifton's poems, the variety and simplicity, and this one I thought might appeal to the owner. She was feeling ill and tired when I went in and asked, but she brightened when she saw the title. "Oh, I like that already," she said. I didn't even show her the other ones I had.

I always hesitate about choosing a poem for this limited venue that is religious, especially particular to a mainstream religion (don't want people to feel left out), but hey, I'm not keeping any out... bring 'em on, as you know if you've been a constant reader of my poetry fence, though I'm not religious myself. You can't live in every world, but you can take dips into them.

God Send Easter

and we will lace the
jungle on
and step out
brilliant as birds
against the concrete country
feathers waving as we
dance toward jesus
sun reflecting mango
and apple as we
glory in our skin.

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When I made the first of these lists back in 2016 I had no idea the places it would go: Libraries, schools and families all over the world continue to share it even now, and I am humbled by its rec…

For those of you who don't know the history of LFLs, here's a brief version. Note that my LFL was put up in April of 2013, five years ago! (First one in NOVA except for one in Leesburg.) I hope to have a celebration of it this spring with everyone invited... and crafts for kids. Be on the lookout for more info!

The first Little Free Library began with a simple concept: Take a book, return a book. It’s a creative, community-building practice that’s blossomed into an international nonprofit with over 60,000 locations in the U.S. and 80 other countries around the globe. A neighborhood Little Free Library ...

En-light-en yourself ... with books from the LFL!

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I'm so sad that someone ripped down my "Hate has no home here" sign (and took it away) because it cost me some good money... and I had to drive all the way to north DC to get it. And... I really liked it a lot... even better than similar ones other people have. It was held up by 4 screws, and it was on thick board (plastic?), so it wasn't an easy rip, I should think.

Some laminated things also taken down include my Science area write-up on what is essentially a science expla...nation of brains of transgender... so that likely was done by someone who disagrees with science of that sort. I've re-printed, laminated, and put back up.

Another was puzzling... in the children's area. The sign of 2 children kneeling on top of a book stairstep to help them over a wall. (Image in a comment) I just replaced that one, too. A kind neighbor brought back another laminated article that had been ripped down, the monarch article with photo. I guess they found it in a yard some distance away and recognized where it belonged. If you're reading this... person who so kindly brought it back and put it in my mailbox, a HUGE thank you to you and your kindness. (Kindness tries to have a home here, but the lack thereof sometimes walks by... and sometimes kindness walks by, too!)

Well, in the place of my "Hate has no home here" sign, I've put an SPLC sign promoting love and justice. A little one that you'd think no one would have a problem with. We'll see.

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After days in the weeks since I first began this project on Jan 9... spending hours visiting the businesses on Mt Vernon Ave to ask the managers or owners if they'd mind if I put a poem outside their place for the month of April, poetry month... I formatted each poem, printed it to check its placement on the special grapevine paper, printed onto the special paper... drew lines carefully measured with a ruler on all 4 sides. Today I went to Fedex to use their straight-edge cu...tter to cut all 4 sides of each paper (oh, backache from leaning over). Now I'll draw similar lines and cut each colored cardboard for their matting... just so... so that they'll fit in the laminating sleeve. Then to buy tomato stakes, check each establishment for where to place, how short to cut the stake, etc.

Of course, the fun part of this project is meeting people. I've had such lovely discussions with many owners and managers... and learned so many things about the people in charge of these places that are a part of our community. And so many were so excited about the poetry project... and many said they'd been coming by the poetry fence with their children for years. (Others, of course, knew nothing about it.) Many gave me an immediate go-ahead, others asked me to write an explanatory email and took days to get back to me, but then they did with a yay! The establishments include restaurants, coffee cafes, yoga and exercise and healing places, art places, ice cream stores, dog and cat stores, our bicycle coop, and... I found an eyeglass poem today by a Native American writer, so tomorrow I'll approach the optometry place.

I'm mostly done, but yesterday I was looking at my list of businesses and thought: I wish I had a poem for another hair salon or nail salon. (I do have one for Anne Welsh Salon, whose owner was fantastic about it!) Then I remembered a poem made into a film that touched me so much. I got that poem on paper and printed it so that I could take it with me to Fedex for cutting. Then I went to All At Once Hair to see if they'd accept the poem. The owner was sitting inside, I explained and showed the poem, and he enthusiastically accepted it. We decided to put his on his door or window.

In case you have 4 minutes to watch the film... or read the printed poem that accompanies it, I'm sharing the link to the video here.

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“The Tao of the Black Plastic Comb,” a poem by Glenis Redmond. ©2015 Glenis Redmond. Used by permission. This poem originally appeared in Silver Birch Press. Collected in What My Hand Say (Press 53, 2016).

Need a feel-good story? This one brought tears of joy to my eyes. Reminds me of my sons reading everywhere. I remember one son walking on the boardwalk with the book, "Triton" in front of his face... reading. I remember the other son on a walk with me through our streets while reading "Scientific American"..

This article says: "The school can't keep its shelves stocked with the most popular books. Students are not-so-subtly reading in class when they should be paying attention to their teachers."

The D.C. students see themselves in the protagonists they’re reading about.