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Little Free Library #9136 Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting!

October 22nd, 2013 (12:38 pm)

P1180666 LFL and the Prez
P1180686 Dana & Rob, ribbon-cuttingMy Little Free Library has been up and running for about a month, but we finally received the official sign, designating us as Little Free Library No. 9136. And I held a Grand Opening and Sign Hanging Party on Sunday to celebrate.

We were thrilled to have three elected officials on hand to do the official ribbon cutting:

I had bought balloons the day before at Del Ray Variety Store. When I told the store owner what I was using them for, she asked if I wanted to borrow the big plastic scissors and wide red ribbon she had left over from her store's ribbon-cutting ceremony! So we were able to cut the ribbon in style. Thank you, Del Ray Variety!

I should admit here that I wrapped the ribbon around the Little Free Library just before the party was due to begin, and I tried and tried to tie a big, pretty bow on it. But the ribbon was too wide and too slick and my bow-tying skills too pitiful. After several lame attempts, I ran down to my gift-wrapping supplies in the basement, came up with a nice red pre-tied bow, and taped it on. Voila!

My husband Bob, representing (unofficially) his employer, the world's largest library, the Library of Congress, then pulled out a screwdriver and attached the sign to one of the world's smallest libraries.

We needed a big box to hold book donations. I had my husband pull out of the garage a large one I'd been saving for several years This box has a history of its own. In its last incarnation, I had turned it into a portable bocce ball court for the Italian room at the PTA's International Night at Mount Vernon Community School, and it still had the felt lining inside and bocce ball instructions around the edges (I covered those up with LFL information). But originally, the box came from Pottery Barn, filled with a bookcase I had bought there. So now it was coming full circle, back to book-holding duty.
P1180669 Jack
P1180691 Bob & Jose attaching sign
P1180699 Shelly & Squeaky
I supplied snacks, including homemade brownies and mini pumpkin muffins, as well as Halloween candy, popcorn, cookies, and apples, I asked my Bookcrossing group to bring food as well. Squeaky (also known as Madeline Guzman) brought these wonderful apple muffins. Nathan's treats were so good they disappeared before I had a taste. There was a yummy chocolate cake decorated with candy corn. Also banana bread, chocolate-covered peanuts, and more. With wine, apple cider, soda, and water to drink. Besides the Bookcrossers, we had various neighbors stop by.

We hung out, talked about books, talked about other things, admired Jose Guzman's handiwork in making the Little Free Library, talked about books some more, donated books to the box and also chose books to take home, and toasted Jose and the LFL. The kids played ball in the yard and experimented with causing an eruption in a Diet Coke bottle by dropping in Mentos mints. (I had set aside a bottle of Diet Coke for them to use for that purpose. I didn't realize until we ran out of Diet Coke at the party that they had appropriated a second bottle, as well!)

The weather was perfect, the yard was filled with Halloween decorations and various signs I'd made for the occasion, explaining LFLs and Bookcrossing, showing pictures of Jose building my LFL, and quoting what various famous people have had to say about the importance of books and libraries, including this quote from Cicero:

"To add a library to a house is to give that house a soul."

I think ours now has one!

Somewhere between the time the final guests left and the time I finished cleaning up, my bouquet of a half-dozen large, mylar, smiley-face balloons disappeared! I guess the knot tying them to the fence must have come loose when my back was turned, and they floated off, still smiling, to explore the world -- or possibly to seek out other Little Free Libraries, a very good reason to smile.

smiley face balloon