Little Free Libraries
Flamingo Park blooms with books for everyone!
The idea is basic: Borrow a book and return it, or leave another — no library cards required. The Little Free Library booksharing movement now has three branches in Flamingo Park!
1914 Lake Ave.
Library steward: Bob Shanley
Bob Shanley, a 22-year resident, was the first voluntary library steward, opening his in 2016. A news photographer retired from the Palm Beach Post, Bob had noticed the little libraries in Delray a couple of years earlier. He decided to build his from windows he’d salvaged from a roadside and some plywood left over when he made hurricane shutters. A friend contributed metal for the roof. The white and green paint scheme matches his 1938 home. He requested a charter, which grants recognition by the organization, but even before his library was “officially” open, books already had been contributed. In the ensuing years Bob’s library suffered storm damage and vandalism, but still it goes on!
Two new branches
Library steward: Christine Stapleton
The Little Castle Little Library for Little Readers features books for reading to infants or reading by teens. There is a white sharpie inside, too, for readers who want to “sign” the castle. Christine Stapleton, a longtime reporter at the Palm Beach Post, opened her LFL in a newspaper-box refitted as a castle. Reach past the guardian gargoyle, if you dare, to sign on top inside the parapet.
Library stewards: Ken Breslauer and Cheryl Oleski
The southernmost Flamingo Park LFL is at Le Flamant, the home of Ken Breslauer and Cheryl Oleski. They opened their flamingo intensive garden for the 2018 tour, but the LFL is outside the hedge and easily accessed. Of course, it bears the telltale flamingo icon on the side.
A few LFL facts
• The nonprofit organization was started in 2012 to promote reading. • Its efforts were recognized in 2015 with a Library of Congress Literacy Award. • In 2016, when Bob opened his LFL, there were 36,000-plus registered Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and 70 countries, according to the organization’s website, www.LittleFreeLibrary.org. • Now, the site boasts of 65,000-plus libraries in 80-plus countries and “millions of books exchanged annually.”
1914 Lake Avenue
819 Ardmore Road
703 Sunset Road