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Woman Transforms 110-Year-Old Tree Into Tiny Neighborhood Library That Makes Us Want To Snuggle Up With A Book

A woman is making headlines for turning a neighborhood headache into something that can positively impact her community. After a dead tree became quite the problem, she transformed it into a little library for neighbors—with a little inspiration from a nonprofit dedicated to reading.

A Community Problem

Librarian and artist Sharalee Armitage Howard of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, had a dead cottonwood tree in her front yard that had been around for 110 years! It was pretty problematic because the tree was literally breaking down.

“It was dropping HUGE branches for years onto the sidewalk and street (even without windy weather),” Sharalee admitted in an interview. “We were really worried about someone getting hurt. One finally hit our son’s car.” Instead of destroying the old tree completely, she came up with another idea for the tree inspired by an organization dedicated to books and learning. 

Little Free Library

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring a love of reading within communities across the world. Workers there help people from all over create their own mini libraries in their communities for all to enjoy. They also provide discounted books to their stewards and other supporters.

With the book exchange idea, people create a mini library that everyone can borrow from. They can also leave books for others to read. Since the organization launched, over 75,000 little libraries have been created in 88 countries so far.

A Tree-mendous Idea

Using resources from Little Free Library, Sharalee decided to make the tree her own free little library for her neighborhood. Most of the tree was carefully cut down, leaving behind the stump. With the help of her family and others, the stump was carved from the inside and topped with a roof. Interior and exterior lights were installed, along with a glass door and shelves for the books.

The work done on this tree is absolutely stunning. Sharalee admitted that she has a little more work to do, but it looks great so far! What’s more important is that Sharalee has developed a library that can really serve her neighborhood. Kudos to her!

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