The Little Free Library that thought it could… and did

| April 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

NONA FRIEDMAN’S daughters, Kayla Wolovitch (left) and Ella Wolovitch (right), at the Little Free Library on Ridgewood.

The Little Free Library was a concept started in Wisconsin in 2009. There are currently three Little Free Libraries in close proximity to the Larchmont Chronicle, as well as two at local police stations, Olympic and West Traffic.

Three little libraries

The Little Free Library in front of Dr. Arthur A. Kezian’s dental office at 443 N. Larchmont Blvd. celebrates its fourth anniversary this month. When it was set up, California was mid-drought, and then came the rains this winter. Lily, who works for Dr. Kezian and is the curator for the library (and decorated it), said the shed was built with 50-year-old shingles on its roof and is well built. In addition, many of the neighbors and patients at the office take it upon themselves to straighten and organize the library occasionally.

Several friendships and at least two romances have blossomed through people meeting and talking over the books at the little library, said Lily, who tracks the books using stickers attached to each book donated. At last count, 8,000 books had gone through the Little Free Library in front of the dentist’s office.

Ridgewood Wilton

Nona Friedman put up her Little Free Library at 224 N. Ridgewood Pl. two years ago. She said she and her two daughters put the shed together and painted it, and a handyman put it up. It has held up well. She loves that it has become a fixture in their neighborhood. People stop by and browse through it all the time and take or leave books. She said it was used in a scavenger hunt about a year ago.

Windsor Square

Wendy Hopkins, steward of the Little Free Library at 141 N. Gower St., said they had to take their library down when they moved. However, they are still in the ‘hood (Windsor Square) and hope to have their library up again and registered in the next few weeks.

LAPD little libraries

Several little libraries also have popped up in police stations, including LAPD’s Olympic division on Vermont Ave. and West Traffic division (next to Wilshire division) on Venice Blvd.

“Most children visiting with their parents take advantage of the books to read and color. All the books are free and can be taken home,” said Officer Joseph Pelayo of Olympic station’s little library.

These are built and run through the nonprofit Literacy Club, which establishes and registers Little Free Libraries in places like police stations, homeless shelters, USC housing complexes and the Boys and Girls Club.

Jean Chadwick, executive director at the Literacy Club, which she founded with her husband Douglas (who builds many of the libraries and is a certified master builder for Little Free Library), said they try to establish Little Free Libraries in “book deserts,” areas of the city where it’s difficult for people to find any books at all.

When people, especially children, are in a police station, it’s usually a stressful situation, said Chadwick. Books give children something to concentrate on that is outside the situation they are in. If they find a book they like, they can take it home, no questions asked. They don’t need a permanent address, photo ID or money.

Chadwick and her husband Douglas built and set up their first Little Free Library in 2013. Four years later, Chadwick estimates that 40,000 books have gone through the libraries that the Literacy Club has set up.

To those of us who grew up with books easily available, it’s difficult to imagine such a thing as a book desert. Sharing a book that one has enjoyed reading can build feelings of community and companionship. 

For more information, or to set up a Little Free Library, go to If you would like to donate money or time to help the Literacy Club, go to

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Category: Entertainment

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