GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Sharon and Douglas Attridge pose in front of their new ‘little free library’ on Bergen Avenue in Mattituck.
A new library has come to the North Fork.
Chances are this is the first time you’re hearing of it, but you may know the librarian.
Mattituck’s Douglas Attridge of the local neo-classic rock band “Who Are Those Guys” recently set up a small free book exchange on the front lawn of his Bergen Avenue home as part of the national “Little Free Library” book project.
“A guy I work with [at the Riverhead Sewer District] brought back a local paper from Vermont and I saw an article about a guy up there who built a little free library designed to look like a covered bridge,” Mr. Attridge said. “I love to read and thought it was a really cool idea, so I went to their website, littlfreelibrary.org, to learn about it.”
In August, he set to work on his own little free library, where passersby are now welcome to borrow books on a “take a book, leave a book” basis.
“You don’t even have to bring back the book you take as long as you leave behind another book that you liked,” Mr. Attridge said.
After building the tiny library — a little red schoolhouse on a post in front of 5250 Bergen Ave. — he contacted the little free library organization to register his library, receive an official sign and get placed on the little free library’s location map.
As it turns out, Mr. Attridge’s little free library is the first on Long Island, if you don’t count the one in Brooklyn.
“Their original goal was to build as many libraries as Andrew Carnegie did during his lifetime,” he said of the organization, “But they’ve already surpassed that number.”
Mr. Attridge’s little free library is made from “smart siding” and leftover wood from building a tool shed, he said, noting that the website encourages builders to “go green” in their designs.
“I put a guest book inside and for the first week nobody touched it,” Mr. Attridge said, ”Then someone wrote, ‘Thanks’ and left two books. Then, just the other day, someone named Michaela H. wrote ‘This is great’ and left ‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac. I’ve always wanted to read that so I’m going to read it and put it back when I’m done with it.”
Mr. Attridge’s wife, Sharon, said she’s already witnessed visitors of the micro-library and loves the “pay it forward” philosophy of the project.
The couple said they aren’t worried about vandals or thieves, especially in Mattituck, which they consider a safe community.
“Plus,” Mr. Attridge said, “You can’t steal a free book.”