Who: Margaret Leonard, co-owner of Dotters Books.
Where: Six Little Free Library locations: 1602 Lyndale Ave., 1917 Lyndale Ave., 622 Culver St., 1523 Hoover Ave., 1928 Ohm Ave., 1604 Laurel Ave. and 1430 Lee St.
What prompted this event?
Chad Rowekamp, vice president of the East Hill Neighborhood Association, generously approached me about putting together an event to welcome Dotters Books to the neighborhood.
He has been instrumental in bringing many Little Free Libraries to the neighborhood, so he thought a book crawl could be a great way to get the word out about the bookshop and bring people up to our neighborhood.
Dotters Books just opened recently. When did you open, and what are you all about?
We opened on Sept. 21, but we’ll be celebrating our grand opening next weekend, Saturday, Oct. 6. We have had such a great time showing our neighbors our space and talking with them about books.
Our shop is a little different than other bookshops. We’re focusing on curating a selection of books that focus on women, authors of color and small presses. We try to read or be quite familiar with the books that we stock in the shop, and we’ll be facing all of our books out, privileging every voice.
I see several other businesses are involved — how did this collaboration happen?
Again, Chad reached out to a few other great local organizations to be a part of this event, and we are so excited. The East Hill is a great neighborhood; everyone has been so excited and welcoming! We feel privileged to be a part of this community.
How many Little Free Libraries are there out on the East Hill for people to find?
There are seven Little Free Libraries participating in this event. Each address is listed on Facebook — so make sure to check each of them out and get a stamp on your library card (library cards will be available at each Little Free Library).
I love all of the Little Free Libraries popping up throughout our community. Books are beautiful pieces of art, and everyone should have access to them. I think the libraries also create an incredible opportunity for people to share their favorite books with their neighbors, adding to the life of the book. Anything that puts literature into the hands of the community is a great thing, in my book!
What do you hope folks get out of this event? (Besides the potential for a free giftcard.)
I’m hoping that people will think of this event as a great way to meet their neighbors and celebrate their love of reading.
If they can also get to know some of the other organizations better — Eau Claire Music School, Chippewa Valley Talking is Teaching and Ordinary Magic — that is great too. Plus, we’re excited to meet everyone and hear about the books that you all love to read.
— Samantha West, reporter