Little libraries for a big cause

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Readers rejoice, there is a new little library at the top of Owen Park, filled with books donated from the Vineyard Haven library. The miniature library is a small wooden box that resembles a full-size West Chop house, complete with a view of the water.

According to its website, Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization “that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”

There are currently over 50,000 registered Little Free Library exchanges in America, including several exchanges across Cape Cod, according to an email from the Vineyard Haven library.

The motto of the Little Free Library is “Take a book, return a book.” People are encouraged to take books at will and bring books to share with the Island community.

Philip Fleischman, who has lived on the Island for over 40 years, said he started building the little library in 2016 after seeing a similar one in Post Office Square in Oak Bluffs that was built in 2013.

He used mahogany for the gables and ridge, and cedar shingles for the sides and roof. “I just used some materials I happened to have already,” said Fleischman.

Fleischman said he has been a sailor all his life, and came to the Island in a sailboat before settling here. He said he suggested the location because of the proximity to the water and the large amount of people who visit the park.

He also said it would be a perfect place to put the library because of all the great spots to sit down and read. “There are benches and tables for people to sit with plenty of shade,” said Fleischman. “It’s a really appropriate place for it.”

According to Fleischman, the Vineyard Haven library will soon be donating a number of children’s books to the little library, as well as some books from Philip Craig’s Martha’s Vineyard mystery series.

Vineyard Haven resident Lynne Fraker has also built a Little Free Library, which will be placed at the recently refurbished Tashmoo Lake Street Landing this weekend.