We were in town for the Spark! event at the Mesa Arts Center. We weren’t surprised to find all the parking spots close to the Arts Center taken, so we had to venture farther to find a place to put the car. Nolagirl settled on the free lot behind the Milano Music Center.
We can walk through the park with the blocks, she said as we gathered our things and locked the car doors.
I didn’t know what she was talking about until we walked up to the pocket park in the narrow area between two buildings.
Oh, I’ve been here! I said. There was a Play Me, I’m Yours piano the last time I was here.
The piano was gone (all of the Play Me, I’m Yours pianos seem to be gone from Mesa), but the artificial turf and the large, colorful blocks were still there.
Is this grass fake? I asked. Nolagirl said it was, and we both laughed. Why put down fake grass in a pocket park in an alley? Oh, the mysteries of Mesa.
I don’t remember who spotted the Little Free Library first, but we were both happy to see it. We’ve gone Little Free Library hunting together; we both think the gift economy of books they facilitate is great.
Nolagirl was especially pleased to see this Little Free Library was repurposed from a container that once housed free reading material one often finds in cities. She and her husband are both in the newspaper business, and she said they’ve discussed repurposing discarded metal newspaper boxes into Little Free Libraries. I told her about the Little Free Libraries I’d seen in Taos, NM made from old metal newspaper boxes. Her idea is being implemented!
The Little Free Library in the Mesa pocket park was a renegade. It didn’t have an an official charter sign or charter number. Someone had come up with the the old dispenser and painted “Little Free Library” and “Take a Book or Leave a Book” on it, but hadn’t registered with the Little Free Library organization or paid for a charter sign. I do appreciate the Little Free Library organization, but I also love grassroots efforts done on the cheap, so I love renegadae Little Free Libraries too. It’s not necessary to be registered to get books to the people!
There were a few book in the library, as well as some back issues of Sports Illustrated. (What a great way to pass on magazines after reading them!) I didn’t need any of the reading material, so I didn’t take anything. I wished I had some books to donate to the library, but all of the books I was ready to part with were in my van. This time my only contribution would be documentation.
I hope the Little Free Library stays in that pocket park for a good long time. I hope folks who find it continue to take books and leave books too.