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You may have seen some Little Free Libraries around on the internet or perhaps even in your own neighborhood. What are they, and how do you start one?
The Little Free neighborhood library movement started in 2009 with Todd Bol. He built a little library to honor his mother. She had recently passed away and was a lifelong book lover and a school teacher. His initial design was a wood structure that looked like a one-room schoolhouse. Bol had a goal to install 2,500 Little Free Libraries around the midwest. As of today, there are more than 100,000 worldwide.
A Little Free Library can be any shape or size. It is up to your own imagination and creativity. The Little Free Library website has kits and plans you can select from. You can even purchase them pre-made on Etsy. I started a Little Free Library, and it was made and painted for me by my husband and kids from a used kitchen cabinet that they found.
The intent of a Little Free Library is that any passerby can select a book for free if they leave a book. That way, the library remains fully stocked. However, Little Free Libraries have been made into Little Free pantries or blessing boxes people can help those in need by stocking a box. The whole idea of the Little Free Library system is to provide for the common good and give 24-hour access to books to those that do not have them. One in three kids living in poverty does not have any books of their own. A Little Free Library could change that and allow those kids to feel the joy of reading.
The person who oversees the Little Free Library is the steward. The steward is responsible for the upkeep and care of the library and the selection within their library. I have decided that in my Little Free Library, we will primarily have children's books. I decided to do that because they are smaller and I can fit more into the library. Because of that, it made the library's location very important that the kids who visit are safe. I didn't want them to stand in the street to access the library or be in danger. Our library is located on a post close to our front door so that anyone can safely access it. Anything negative would be caught by the camera on our doorbell. Little free libraries are generally welcomed by communities. Before installing one, you want to make sure you are following any laws or codes that your city or state may have.
After you have the basic set up arranged for your Little Free Library, you can register it online. On LittlefreeLibrary.org, you can pay a registration fee to receive an official plaque to adhere to your library and a charter number so you can sign up to be part of the interactive map of libraries they have online. If you want to visit a Little Free Library, you can search the map for those located in your area.
There are resources for stewards to order books at a deeply discounted rate so that the books in your library will remain fresh and new to those patrons that stop by.
There are also a lot of resources and ideas on how to publicize your library. There are groups on social media and tons of ideas to promote your library to your neighborhood. As a coincidence, I received my library in early 2020, and I put it out just as the COVID-19 quarantines started. Libraries and schools were closed to the kids in my community. I promoted it on the neighborhood Facebook page and reached out to people for donations of books for kids. It has been fun to see different families come by and exchange out books, and to see how the inventory of the library changes on its own even when I don't see it. It helped give the kids something to do after a long day being stuck in the house to walk over and exchange a book, and I couldn't be happier that we did it.
Think back over the games you have played in your life - the Rubix cube, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, board games, riddles. These are just a few ways we have found joy and pleasure using our brains to solve puzzles. You get a pleasant feeling trying to riddle them out, and an even better flow of emotions when you get it right. What is happening in your brain when you do this? We don't know everything, but we see this fun strengthens your mind, and we know you can rewire your brain. The most essential benefit (in my opinion) is becoming a better and faster problem solver in your everyday life.
Have you ever seen two people on each side of a couch, moving it into a new apartment? The spatial reasoning that it takes to solve getting the furniture around a bend or through a door can be honed playing brain puzzles! An excellent book to read on this topic is Thinking Physics, by Lewis Epstein and Paul Hewitt. This book has one physics puzzle after another. Do not let the “physics” part scare you. This book is full of things that happen in your world every day. Its the thinking through the “why” of it that is the fun, that makes you feel those good emotions and flexes your brain muscle. So give a physics puzzle a try!
Teeth have always been a sensitive subject for me (pun intended!). I have a confession to make… I have Dentophobia- the fear of dentists. This stems from childhood and while I don’t have terrible teeth I am always looking for the best way to take care of them. One day, when I was having some tooth pain, Nichole told me about Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Tooth & Gum Powder, and I got really excited. This launched my search for beneficial herbs for teeth. Since then I have found an Ayurvedic Herbal Toothpaste from Auromere and a Holistic Dental Therapeutic Rinse from Dr.H & Co called Heal.
Most of us know about cloves for toothaches, charcoal for whitening, and coconut oil pulling for overall health. But there is a myriad of other herbs that are good for teeth, who knew!
Here is a list of some herbs that are all helpful for teeth in some way. I encourage you to do your own research on the benefits of each herb, as well as how best to use them.
Herbal Mouth Rinse or Paste:
Herbs: Include any or all of the following. You can use crushed, powdered, or whole herbs, however, powdered works best.
Store in a jar with a lid. Use within 7-10 days, longer in the refrigerator.
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