That's a "Little Free Library" to the uninitiated. And, according to our very own master of the field notes, Journal contributor Barry Evans, there's a new one in town. Evans and his wife, Louisa Rogers, are in fact responsible for the thing, which resides on the Snug Alley backside of the Redwood Curtain Theatre.
But what is it?
"It’s a simple idea," says Evans. "Take a book, leave a book, feel free to browse. All it takes is a small weatherproof box with a window showing the books inside, and the regular attention of a steward to tidy books up and make sure there are always — in our case, 40 to 50 — books on hand plus an assortment of magazines."
And it's open all the time. Rogers got the idea for the library after she saw one in Madison, Wis. "A trip to the local thrift store, a spot of carpentry, and four long bolts was all it took to create The Redwood Curtain Theatre Little Free Library, No. 15,424," says Evans.
The Little Free Library concept arose in Wisconsin in 2009, Evans says. Now there are more than 15,000 in the world — including three others already in Humboldt: in Arcata on the side of Leslie Rohan's house at 841 13th St.; at 1641 Hyland St. in Bayside, stewarded by Gordon and Iris Inkeles; and in Arcata at the Jacoby Storehouse, run by Mary Gifford of The Rocking Horse.
Learn more about it at littlefreelibrary.org. Or you can pester Evans: email@example.com. And you can read more about some of the other LFLs in Humboldt here and here.