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Mt. Lake, MN 56159
Phone: 507-427-2725
Fax: 507-427-2724

They may be near an entryway to a shop or in between buildings. But wherever they are, these little house-like structures link people who share a passion for books. There are more than 25,000 Little Free Libraries around the world as of last January. According to its website, the movement was started by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wis., in 2009. He built a little library as a tribute to his mother Esther who loved reading and was a school teacher. He put it on a post in his front yard, it got a lot of attention and the idea spread. The concept is simple — place books in the library for others to read or take one to read and return it. Fred Jerve, an Odin resident, read about them in a newspaper and started seeing them in Minneapolis. He decided to expand his woodworking skills and contribute to the literacy campaign. Originally from Marshall, Jerve has lived in Odin for 12 years. He studied making furniture at a cabinet-making school in Eden Prairie in the 1980s and has been a carpenter all his life. “I’ve done woodworking since I was a kid. I grew up on a farm and every farmer’s a carpenter,” he said. Although plans (and libraries) can be purchased, dimensions are only suggestions. Each library is as individual as the person who makes it. “My pieces are all one-ofa- kind. I’ve just started my 12th one,” Jerve said. “Each one takes me about four to six weeks, or approximately 120 hours, to make. I build mine out of cedar.” His libraries are in St. Peter, Mankato, Minneapolis, Amboy and Sheboygan, Mich., so far.

The complete story can be found in the print
version of the Observer/Advocate.
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