There were two libraries within walking distance of me when I was growing up in North London. One was in East Finchley the other in Church End – I think of both of them with great fondness but it’s the one in East Finchley I miss. It seemed old, established, and the bookshelves were dark and worn and the entire building had the smell of slightly dry paper – it was treasure to me when I was 10. In fact it was built in 1938, making it a library youngster both in England and America, but it seemed ancient to my new eyes and it was serenely quiet. Somewhere for me to wonder at the full collection of Alistair MacLean novels (try them – a Scottish master of adventures and thrillers – The Guns of Navarone and Ice Station Zebra are excellent) and get very bogged down at the age of 10 in Jane Austen. As a public library East Finchley charged for the late return of a book – I think you could take three books for two weeks – and the charge was 2 English pence for each late book, which was about 3 cents, and I clearly remember once having to search my bedroom for pennies as I had several books which were many weeks late. I spent countless hours wandering among the bookcases, utterly enthralled by the beauty of the book covers and the strange words and the new worlds that were opening up. And as Shakespeare said, there’s the rub. The new worlds – the wonderful new worlds.
The Little Free Library Blog - by James Smith
Visiting (Updated June 2022):
Please check our website or social media before visiting as our hours are subject to change depending on weather and volunteer availability. Masks are required and we are continuing to limit numbers of people inside at one time.
Street Road hours: Temporarily closed while we prepare for our second iteration of The Summer Library, more details coming soon. The library box outside is open 24/7.
Little Free Library: Thursdays 12-4pm, Fridays 10am-2pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm and by appointment.
Our Little Free Library outdoor boxes at both sites are open 24/7 and are regularly restocked.
Please call 610-869-4712 or email to set up visits outside our regularly scheduled hours.
We are currently seeking volunteers for both locations: email us to enquire. We look forward to hearing from you!
to Street Road here.
to The Little Free Library here.
A word about 'here':
We acknowledge that we are on the ancestral lands of the Lenape, original people of the mid-Atlantic area, forced west by British and US governments. Most Delaware Indian tribe descendants are now located in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Ontario. Lenni Lenapes in Pennsylvania are not officially recognized as tribes by the United States, though an estimated 5000 Lenape Nation descendants live in the Delaware River area. We pay respects to the Lenape people both past and present. Please consider the many legacies of violence, displacement and settlement that form part of our collective histories. While increased public recognition of these legacies and processes of redress such as Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission are positive steps, concrete focus on return of land and land rights remains a distant horizon.