By Kristina Houck
Community members don’t need a card to use Del Mar’s new library.
Located at the south end of Stratford Court past Del Mar Woods, the Little Free Library has just one policy: Take a book, and if you can, give a book.
Installed by Del Mar resident Kate Zimmer, neighbors celebrated the grand opening of the small, two-story wooden library on April 19. Zimmer, a former high school English teacher, received the library for her birthday last year.
“I love books,” said Zimmer, who has lived in Del Mar since 1996. “I would always be dropping my books off at the library once I read them. And there are certain books that are my favorite that I just keep buying copies of so I can pass them on to friends. I love passing books on, so this was a perfect gift for me and for the community.”
The first Little Free Library was built in 2009 in Wisconsin. Since then the idea has spread as a way to promote literacy and community connections. At the start of this year, there were an estimated 15,000-registered Little Free Libraries in the world, according to littlefreelibrary.org.
Del Mar’s first Little Free Library is packed with books — some donated by Zimmer’s two young children — book recommendations and a guestbook. She encourages people to visit the library and participate even if they don’t have books to donate.
“The whole thing doesn’t work unless people know about it, unless people use it,” Zimmer said. “I hope people take books, bring books, write recommendations and sign the guestbook. I hope that community conversation happens.”
To learn more about the Little Free Library Project, visit littlefreelibrary.org.