For the love of reading
For David and Jean Dlugose, the love of reading and the importance of community involvement can be very influential, so much so that they wanted to start the fifth-chartered Little Free Library in Northampton at their home, 163 W. 28th St.
David considers himself a natural-born teacher and counselor. Both he and his wife are retired Salvation Army officers of 47 years. Jean was a student librarian years ago, and David has worked with underprivileged kids in his youth and young adult life.
David also is a history buff, which partly started because of his love of reading at a young age. David’s mother read to him as a child, creating his love for learning and reading.
“I had a rough family background, and most of the time, I went to the library to escape when I was at home,” David said.
To start a Little Free Library, “My wife did some research on the Internet to find out what it was all about,” David said. “It costs from $300 to $1,000 or more for just a box. Then you have a post, and I installed a little concrete base with the bench as well.”
The whole project cost the Dlugoses about $800 and took about a week to complete.
“We usually don’t have that kind of money sitting around, so we saved up money for about a year and a half,” David said.
David and Jean could have made their own box, but a purchased Little Free Library box is an official, registered box.
“A number is noted nationally,” David said.
On June 17, they held an official opening for their Little Free Library. The Dlugoses put out cookies and punch for visitors of the library to enjoy while picking out a book.
David said sometimes visitors will come up and thank him and Jean for putting out the Little Free Library. He said this really helps foster communication and develop a neighborhood.
“We thought it would be cool to do something positive. We like thinking positive,” David said. “When you help other people in some way, it makes you feel good. A little caring goes a long way.”
Future plans the Dlugoses have for the library include putting a brass tag on the bench that says “Jean and David’s Little Free Library. Rest a while and read.”
Adults, you aren’t left out. Inside the Dlugoses’ box, there are books for all ages.
For more information on Little Free Library, visit littlefreelibrary.org. On this site, you can view a map to find other libraries in your area, including their library at 163 W. 28th St.