Little Free Libraries about town in mourning

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on a global scale to far reaching homes and outposts. Tod Bol was diagnosed last month with pancreatic cancer, which swiftly metastasized to peritoneal cancer. The non profits stewards, tens of thousands of people who care for the little libraries, were notified when Executive director Bol went into hospice care. According to his brother Tony, Bol died Thursday, Oct. 18, from complications with pancreatic cancer. With these free book boxes Bol inspired many to offer and share the love of literacy freely with both strangers and neighbors alike. This movement has certainly flourished in Winters over the years since the first libraries sprouted here in 2015. They have mostly been sponsored by Winters Friends of the Library (WFoL). The town now holds nine private and public little libraries, with plans for growing more. The little libraries here in Winters not only have the happy byproduct of expanding the mind and imagination of many, they also hold a sweet history of sponsoring life skills for some few. 2015 Presidents of the Winters Friends of the Library Linda Glick and Linda Springer partnered with Bill Campbell of the West Sacramento Library Advisory Board, to consign four, and almost immediately more, free literature boxes at $120 each to be built and installed by Northern California Construction Training (NCCT) a non-profit group teaching disadvantaged youth to build. In an email, WoFL member Rebecca Fridae wrote, “I first saw a Little Free Library up in Salem, Ore., in my sister’s neighborhood. We talked about what a lovely idea it was and how much fun it was to stop and browse. I talked about it to our WFoL group, and we decided on four, at first. Two downtown, one by the Clayground,  and one at Yolo Housing. Before they were all installed, we decided on a few more. Valarie Whitworth paid for one to be put on Russell by Liwai Village Drive, another was put by the pathway next to the Creek Community Gardens, another in front of the Winters Apartments on Baker, and the last on the corner opposite the fire station on Main and Grant. Linda Glick had the one downtown officially inducted to the LFL website.” Fridae says that there are several free libraries around town that are run by other people. There is one on Hemenway, near the tennis courts. The Tree House runs another located at the school’s front entrance. She likes to see that the free libraries downtown always seem to be filled. “It is always fun to see people use them,” Fridae says. Fridae, who is currently on a long European vacation, says that she has spotted several on her travels. Though it can be argued that the Little Free Library is the most widely spread and maintained network, it is not the only effort toward easily accessible literacy. Steady Eddy’s has a box of children’s books for use in their cafe along with well read newspapers. In the entrance to the brick and mortar Winters Community Library on Railroad Avenue, there are two tiered carts overwhelmed with free books. There is also a whole room where  books and learning tools can be purchased for low prices. Today Little Free Library is a 501(c)(3) non profit, according to the their website. The website states that there are more than 75,000 registered LFL book-sharing boxes across 88 countries. LFL can be registered with the non-profit for a fee of $40. Of the unincorporated that are privately built and go unregistered with the non profit,  the number is countless untold. For more information about the LFL movement, visit To learn about the free libraries in Winters, visit


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