Bernie’s Books

Address: 3237 Oakwood St.

Steward: Jessica Hanh

I am a Costume Designer and Professor in the Department of Theatre & Drama at the University of Michigan, a frequent visitor at the Ann Arbor District Library and a life-long reader.

I first heard about the Little Free Library program in 2014 and immediately wanted to put up one of my own. Since I work in the theatre department at the University of Michigan I asked two of my colleagues if they would build one for me. It took three years of nagging but I finally got one made in late spring of 2017.

It was made from two small IKEA benches and the door (also an IKEA reject) was found at the Habitat Store on Jackson Road. A former student scenic designer put it together for me and then I painted it to match my house, sealing it with marine varnish. I kept changing my mind on how to decorate it but was inspired by my Airedale, Bernie, and a cartoon I saw online. It finally went up in my front yard last summer and the first books were borrowed within hours.

I have loved to read since I was a child when my parents would take away the flashlight I had hidden under my pillow… I am somewhat of a “biblioholic” and knew I wanted to share my love of books with my neighbors. I originally stocked it with a variety of classics, mysteries, espionage novels, children’s books and some craft books for the neighbors who walk by with their dogs, children coming and going to school, and others. I found a homemade child’s miniature refrigerator at a local resale shop and plan on adding an annex later this summer that will allow for larger children’s books too.

Now both Bernie and Bernie’s Books are known and I’ve been thanked for sharing both with my neighbors. I’ve seen cars stop so a reader could check out the latest offerings and often leave new books inside. One “problem” I had not foreseen was finding intriguing books inside and borrowing them myself!

–Jessica Hahn

Featured in April 2017 newsletter