‘Take a book, return a book’

Shelby resident offers Little Free Library in front yard

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 6, 2016

 Pamela Pscheidl stands beside her Little Free Library in front of her Shelby Township home Dec. 28.

Pamela Pscheidl stands beside her Little Free Library in front of her Shelby Township home Dec. 28.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The holidays are at an end, but the giving spirit will continue on in the form of a small community library located in the front yard of one Shelby Township resident’s home.

In April, Pamela Pscheidl stumbled upon a Little Free Library while on a trip to New Orleans with college friends. In October, her family’s own registered Little Free Library stood beside the sidewalk in front of her home in the Spring Lake subdivision.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization with the mission to “promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations,” according to www.littlefreelibrary.org.

Pscheidl, a retired parole officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections, said that working with convicted felons, including many grown men who didn’t know how to read, inspired her to support literacy.

“I really saw the need,” she said. “I would give them different things to read to kind of get an idea of their reading levels.”

Pscheidl stocks her library with a healthy range of books, including adult fiction and nonfiction, children’s books and material for teenagers, the latter thanks to a donation from the Friends of the Shelby Township Library

“I get them from all over — garage sales, friends, hairdressers and people coming by,” she said.

Visitors to Pscheidl’s community book exchange are encouraged to take a book or two and leave a book they enjoyed so others can enjoy it too.

“Of course, if people don’t have a book to give, then just take a book,” she said.

After her husband, Art, finished building the structure, Pscheidl said the duo spent three and a half hours passing out fliers around her neighborhood. She also said she mentioned it to those she saw outside their homes.

Lindy Rymill, a neighbor in the subdivision, said she found out about the Little Free Library through the homeowners association newsletter. Pscheidl is an association board member.

As a writer and published children’s book author, Rymill said she loved the idea of a small-scale community book exchange. She said she had never heard of it before.

“I’m obviously a book person,” she said. “I love local kind of stuff on a little scale.”

Rymill said she headed over to Pscheidl’s house as soon as she could with several books she thought kids and young adults would enjoy, and she was happy to find an existing selection of good children’s books. She also recommended several authors to Pscheidl.

“In general, I think people really want to connect with other people, but sometimes they don’t know how,” she said. “Books have, in my opinion, always been one of the best ways of connecting people.”

Pscheidl’s home is situated in the rear of East Pointe Court in the Spring Lake subdivision, located near 23 Mile and Dequindre roads. 

For more information about Little Free Library, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.

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