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Little Free Library Turns a Page in Carpinteria History

Books are back at Wullbrandt Way, the original site of the Carpinteria Library, established in 1910. There is a historical marker where California’s first branch library once stood

Liam Killen, 6, of Carpinteria, finds a book at the Little Free Library during May 5 dedication event. Click to view larger
Liam Killen, 6, of Carpinteria, finds a book at the Little Free Library during May 5 dedication event. (Friends of the Library)

The Friends of the Library, city of Carpinteria and Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce dedicated the first Little Free Library in downtown Carpinteria, at Wullbrandt Way and Linden Ave., on May 5.

The Little Free Library is a place to share books for free. Borrowers can take a book and/or donate a book in a community effort to exchange books at no charge with both locals and visitors.

The Friends site will be registered with Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization that fosters community book exchanges worldwide. The Friends' Little Free Library will be included onLittle Free Library world map.

Locations for Little Free Library in the U.S. range from central Alaska to the Florida Keys, and the organization has made books available in some places around the world where they'd otherwise be hard to obtain. Visit LittleFreeLibrary.com.

Members of the Friends Board, having seen several Little Free Libraries around town and at other sites in California, were inspired to ask Carpinteria about locating one on Wullbrandt Way.

When the city approved the idea, Gaby Edwards and Kris McGuire discussed it with the merchants. Each business expressed their delight at the possibility of having a Little Free Library at the location of the original 1910 library.

Gloria Tejeda, Senor Frog’s owner, said she thought her restaurant was a part of the original library building. No photo of the original library has been ever been found.

Board member Brad Smith worked with the city on permitting and also painted the Little Free Library so it coordinated well with the historical marker.

Smith and his wife Barbara will serve as the downtown Little Free Library’s guardians, keeping tabs on how the library is doing in its new location.

At the Friends Annual Meeting, Wednesday, May 17, at the Carpinteria Community Church, a raffle will be held to win a Little Free Library painted by local artist John Wullbrandt.

The winner will be free to choose where to set up the library and, in the spirit of the Little Free Library guidelines, the winner will be able not only to borrow a book, but also to donate one for others to enjoy.

For more information, email: [email protected]

— Kris McGuire for Carpinteria Library.


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