QUAPAW — The tiny house craze has hit Quapaw, but this time it’s in the form of a Little Library.
Based on a one-room schoolhouse, the free mini library can hold about 20 books.
The Little Library, which opened Monday, Feb. 4, is located in front of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma’s Title VI building at 903 Whitebird.
“We mounted it in a place where we thought it would be viewed from the road, people could see it, yet in inclement weather, they could drive up and get their books without getting muddy or getting wet,” said Pattie Billings, Director of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Library.
“Our hope is it will be a benefit to the community.”
Quapaw’s Little Library is funded through a grant from the Native American Library Impact Library Program.
Started in 2009 by Todd Bol, the first one was placed in the front yard of his home in Hudson, Wisconsin, and was dedicated to his mother, who was a teacher who loved to read.
The neighbors saw it and thought ‘what a great idea’ so he started building them and giving them to neighbors. It grew from there,” Billings said.
Bol teamed with Rick Brooks, an instructor at the University of Wisconsin, on the project.
The first year, they placed 30 and by 2018, it’s grown to 75,000 in 88 different countries, she said.
“Each year he has an initiative where he selects certain groups of libraries and this year it was the Native American impact libraries,” Billing said. “Thirty-six have been funded through grants.”
They come in a wide variety of designs, including one built by Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons.
The tribe received the library, pole, mounting hardware and an assortment of books to fill it with.
The tribal library is closed on Fridays and Saturdays and evenings, but The Little Library will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We will keep it stocked,” Billings said. “We will rotate. Every so often in the (main) library, we have to weed books to make room for new ones, so we will take them out (to The Little Library).
“We are encouraging people in the community that if they have books they want to share, they can bring them and put them in the library.”
There is no time limit taken out of The Little Library.
“If they decide to take the book out and keep it, that’s fine,” Billings said. “Its all honor based. They can take a book, two books or three books and put in books.”
In the main library, books can only be checked out for three weeks.
Billings said most of the main library funding comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services located in Washington, D.C.
“We have been very, very fortunate with that,” she said. “I have been here 10 years and we’ve received a grant every year from them. That helps to buy books. We have a wonderful STEM program for the children at the learning center. It funds that as well as a pottery program where children do traditional Quapaw pottery.
Billings stressed that the tribal library also is open to the public.
“We welcome anybody from the area to come in and use the library,” she said.
With The Little Library, “it’s an extension of the library and fills in a gap when we are closed. We’re hoping to have a good variety of books out there.”
For more information, contact Billings at 918-238-3156.