The Westcott Street Cultural Fair is coming up on September 25, 2022. An always anticipated feature is the Petit Library Booksale where thousands of books on every subject are available at rock bottom prices. It’s a great way to build your library, or just upgrade your winter reading list. In the months leading up to the sale the reverse it true, the library is a great place to donate your excess books, including those volumes on the reading list that you never finished.
But if you can’t wait to pick up a book, or give one away, or if you are someone whose reading is dictated by serendipity, there are our many Westcott neighborhood Little Libraries. By our count there are at least six now in the neighborhood (but possibly more?) Take almost any route from Petit Library and you’re likely to pass one along the way.
These are mostly entirely private endeavors, except for the one by the tennis courts at Barry Park, which was recently rebuilt by the Barry Park Association with a modest grant from TNT (Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today).
We think the first little Library in the neighborhood is the much trafficked one at the corner of Harvard Place and Allen Street. This box has taken abuse over the years, but it keeps getting restocked, and there is rapid turnover of the books (this reporter found a good one just this morning). Other Little Libraries are on Greenwood, Maryland, Westmoreland, and a little further west, on Circle Road in Berkeley Park. Are we missing some?
There is basic Little Library etiquette to follow (but not everyone does).
- If you take a book, try to give a book sometime, too.
- If you are browsing, keep the books neat, and if they are not neat, take a minute to straighten them out to entice others.
- Don’t be greedy. Don’t take too many books at one time. Leave some for others to enjoy
- Obviously, don’t leave trash, but also don’t leave trashy book and magazines. Damaged and out of date books take up space. You’re just leaving it for the LL owner to deal with.
- One the other hand, old doesn’t mean unwanted. With so many scholars, teachers, and students in the area, older editions of books, journals, maps. etc. are sometimes useful, and even desired. Use good judgement.
- If the Little library has a door and latch, use them and close them when you are through.
- If you know a person who has built and manages a Little Library thank them for all of us!
Let’s nourish the Little Libraries and keep Westcott literate.