Brookside Book House

Address: The Brookside Book House is located on Brookside Drive, east of Pontiac Trail, in the Orchard Place neighborhood
Steward: Eileen Ho

We are coming up on our first year anniversary of hosting the Brookside Book House & Peace Pole in our neighborhood. The many wonderful Little Free Library and Peace Pole projects around the world have inspired our family for years and, thanks to local support, we are now happily sharing books with our own community in Ann Arbor.
While searching for anyone who happened to know about building free libraries I was lucky to happen upon a video online by alocal woodworker who was explaining about his book houses and how he would come install it personally for you if you also lived in Ann Arbor! Our neighborhood association happily approved our proposal to host a LFL, and as soon as I began telling family and friends and our local bookstore owners about our endeavor, they eagerly offered books to share. And that is how we were able to open the doors to our Brookside Book House in the middle of winter last year with a selection of adult and youth books on our shelves.
I love libraries and have been working on projects online as a school librarian. So I was excited to become a steward of this little library of ours, and besides stamping many of the books with our Brookside Book House label, I took the chance to use an online cataloging method which we use at school as a way for anybody to track books that come and go or find out more info about certain titles.  I usually take a “shelfie” of the library whenever it looks like there’s been some activity and update the catalog at least once a month but sometimes weekly.
We offer this library as a community project and have received positive feedback from our neighborhood, including guest book comments of appreciation and occasional drop offs to the shelves of the book house. We’ve also shared love-to-read pins and bookmarks. Activity is not overwhelming and that’s okay as we expect people’s engagement with the library will vary with time and season and current interests. The most creative contribution we’ve received is a book series of short stories (mostly about how awesome soccer is and playing together as friends) authored by a group of younger boys which was handwritten on lined paper, stapled together, and left on the children’s shelf. 🙂
Our library is open all year round and we welcome all visitors to Take a book, Leave a book, and Share a book in Peace.

–Eileen Ho
School Librarian at Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor and Taiko Drummer at Great Lakes Taiko Center