The Porterville Little Libraries Initiatives program just got a little bigger after Porterville’s Nate Wobrock generously provided PLL with a temporary solution to house its increasingly large inventory of extra books. Now the PLL Book Bank has crates filled with thousands of books from where PLL Curators – those who have little libraries set up on their property – can withdraw and/or deposit books.
“We’re calling our inventory ‘The PLL Book Bank,’” said Tim Baker. “This brings ‘New Life’ to this building.”
PLL curators, advocates and other supporters of the little libraries as well as people dropping off books met Saturday at the former Whitehurst-Peters-Loyd Funeral Home for the official unveiling of the PLL Book Bank located at the corner of Mill Avenue and Hockett Street.
And it was just in time, as more and more donations kept coming in towards the program.
“About six weeks ago we got a huge load of books from Lindsay High School,” Baker said. “Lindsay called me to say they had hundreds of books to donate. I was desperate for a location so I started putting feelers out.”
He started researching and taking suggestions and it all eventually led to the tracking down the most-recent owner of the building – Wobrock.
“He immediately asked me if I needed a half court or full basketball court size,” Baker said of the former owner of Hoops Preschool. “Nate has been a jewel ever since.”
PLL is now using a couple of rooms through February 2022, the main area downstairs and accompanying upstairs loft area. Childrens’ and fiction books are downstairs and non-fiction books are upstairs. And Baker is already putting feelers out for the next temporary location.
As he spoke, another vehicle pulled up with a trunk load of books.
On hand to help push boxes of books and carry other bags filled with them, were several members of the American Heritage Girls, Read for Life Board member Karen Vanni, who has also been instrumental in providing numerous books to PLL, and many others, were also on hand to help. When Vanni heard about the little libraries, she immediately went before the board.
“I told them, ‘This might be something we might want to be involved with,’” she said. “Our primary focus is reading to ages birth to 5, sometimes age 7.”
Read for Life provides young children’s books to hospitals, clinics and women’s shelters.
“Our goal now is that every child in Tulare County have a book that is theirs’,” she said. “Read for Life donates books to Little Libraries so younger children are represented. Often books donated are aimed for older children or adults. We focus on books for infants, toddlers and young children”
Sisters Anetta and Ashley Arouch, 11 and 7 respectively, were there to help in any way possible. The two girls are active in AHG.
“I really love to read. I always have,” Anetta said.
Ashley echoed the sentiments. The two girls who share a room at home said they have their own small library in their bedroom.
After going through their personal library, they pulled out several of the books which have been read many times or are too “young” now for them to donate to a younger audience. All of the books were gently used and were still in great condition.
Kristy Noble, who hosts the first PLL at her home, is also the AHG leader.
“It’s always a challenge to find suitable and voluntary opportunities that matter for our girls,” Noble said. “This was just fantastic for the girls to promote literacy in the community.”
In addition, Noble and the American Heritage Girls have taken on the task to rearrange all of the books by genre. At the moment, the 4,000 pounds of books are sorted by author’s last name. Assorting the books by genre – westerns, romance, folk tales, drama, poetry, etc. – will help the curators obtain books from their respective little library.
Ten year old Anayeli Sambrano, PLL’s youngest curator, said she started her own little library because of her love of reading.
She asked her grandfather to build her a little library and fundraised by asking family and friends for donations to buy books.
“I love reading and I know since the (Porterville) library burned down, we really needed this,” Anayeli said. “It makes me feel good to have a little library.”
Anayeli’s little library hasn’t had its official ribbon cutting yet but will soon, she said.
Artist Jeannette Brewer, past president of the Porterville Art Association, talked about her little library, one she also painted.
“It’s all about the endangered species and it incorporates air, land and water animals,” she said as she pointed out the fish and Killer Whales, the endangered macaw birds and the giraffes and elephants painted on the library case.
Brewer talked about using a Home Realty pamphlet box and the steps it took to prime it, paint it, and lacquer it to protect it as she converted it into a Little Library case. She also finished with an African symbol that stands for “God Protects” and said the little library will be auctioned off at an upcoming Porterville Art Association event.
PLL honors Porterville Fire Captain Raymond Figueroa nd Firefighter Patrick Jones who lost their lives on February 18, 2020 in the Porterville Library Fire on every little library., and Richard Eckhoff has graciously offered to donate the 100 brass plaques, one for each PLL, honoring their lives and memory.
PLL has set a February 18, 2022 goal towards its mission of establishing 100 little libraries
Source – recorderonline