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Little Free Library at Edmonds' Waterfront Coffee Co. Is the State's First

Steve Balas built the library with Edmonds history in mind.

After teasing it on Facebook for a couple of weeks, Edmonds' on Friday unveiled the big secret: a Little Free Library about the size of an old tube TV.

The concept of the "library" is simple: If you like a book, take it, and put one back. The concept started in Wisconsin and has picked up steam after being profiled in USA Today and on NPR and NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams.

"I came up with the idea after watching Brian Williams on the news," said Waterfront Coffee Co. owner Steve Balas. "I wanted to do something for the community and to bring people down to the waterfront."

The Edmonds Little Free Library is the first in Washington state and No. 858 in the world, said Balas, who built the library himself. The goal is to break Andrew Carnegie's record of creating more than 2,500 libraries, according to the Little Free Library Web site.

Since the idea is to incorporate the history of a community into the library, Balas decided to tip his cap to Edmonds' history of shingle mills.

Balas looked at historical photographs and went to work. The completed library, called "Cedar Shingles Mills of the 1800s," features wood shingle, a class cover and black smokestack. It sits on a post.

The Little Free Library is a collaboration between Waterfront Coffee Co. and . Sofeea Huffman, who owns Demetris and the building of which Waterfront Coffee Co. is part of, gave her enthusiastic support, said Balas.

Becky Moats April 08, 2012 at 02:47 AM
What a wonderful addition to our city. I saw the same broadcast on the nightly news and thought how cool it would be if we did that here. I can't wait to bring a book and borrow a book.
Diane B April 09, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I think this is a great idea! I do the "book exchange" with my family members and friends. While I love my IPAD and my husband loves his Kindle Fire..there is nothing like a good book (I prefer hardcover) to hang onto and read.

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