The Little Free Libraries of Arlington Street

Three Libraries Installed Around One Residential Street

This article is part of a series on the passionate people behind the Little Free Libraries in Marshfield. A list of locations can be found here.

In the heart of a residential neighborhood, three Little Free Libraries can be found on or near Arlington Street.

Bill Dietsche is one resident who decided to install a library in his front yard. Wanting it to fit in with his wooded lot and Colonial Williamsburg-style home, he sketched a design and called on the talents of an Amish friend to do the construction of a library that was “woodsy” in appearance.

“Having taught Reading and Language Arts for forty-six years, it just seemed natural and necessary to continue promoting lifelong reading,” he said.

The library opened in June 2017. “My wife has assumed the role of ‘keeper of the library,” Dietsche said. “We are happy to keep stocking the shelves, but have also had folks contribute books.”

Passerby can leave comments in the guest book inside and take a copy of the “Reader’s Bill of Rights,” which includes the right to skip pages and to defend tastes, among others. There is also a wooden bench right next to the library for readers to take a minute and browse their selections.

A little down the street just off Arlington, on Adams Avenue, a bright-red library catches the eye of passerby.

Retired reading teacher Linda Nafziger received her Little Free Library as a gift from her daughter and son-in-law in 2013 and installed it in her front yard. The library was modeled after a schoolhouse, painted red with a small bell in the steeple and a shingled roof.

“I am very proud of the job they did, and it was such a thoughtful gift for a teacher like me,” she said.

Both of her daughters live in the Twin Cities, where there are many such libraries available. “When you walk through the neighborhoods you will frequently find a cute little library every few blocks,” she said.

Most of the books for the library are donated by those who drop by, either driving up or stopping by while walking the dog. “We have lots of regulars, but many are new as they spot the little red schoolhouse and stop to investigate, said Nafziger.

A third little library can be found on the corner of Arlington and Oak.

“I am an avid reader and just wanted to offer a service for people,” said owner Tammie Grap. Her daughter built the blue library six years ago with no special look in mind, only an idea to be able to share a passion for reading.

Grap and her daughter started the library with their own books, but it is now stocked mostly by others. “We have a great deal of foot traffic here and are very pleased with the amount of use the library gets,” she said. Sometimes she gets to meet these readers, including someone who was looking for a book to take on his plane flight that day.

Grap also installed a bench next to the library so visitors can have a place to sit for a moment. She loves to read mystery and Christian books.

More libraries can be found in front of homes, apartments, parks, and trails in Marshfield. For a list, please click here.