Little Free Library launches at the corner of Kleiser Park

A new Little Free Library has taken up residence at the corner of North Cloverdale Boulevard and School Street, positioned on the corner of Kleiser Park. The little “take a book, leave a book” library is sitting at the site of an old Cloverdale schoolhouse and was officially welcomed into the community via ribbon cutting on June 19. The library was created and installed as a Cloverdale Rotary Club project, and will house books supplemented by the Kiwanis Club of Cloverdale.

Kevin Kostoff, the organizer of the little library project, said that the idea was twofold, with Rotary member Iris Konik bringing up the idea of having a little library and Kostoff wanting to connect the library to the park to go alongside the theme he set for his presidency of Cloverdale Rotary: rejuvenation. 

Kostoff ended his yearlong tenure as president of Cloverdale’s Rotary Club a few days after the little library ribbon cutting.

The Cloverdale Rotary Club developed Kleiser Park 10 years ago, intending for it to serve the adjacent district office and Cloverdale High School as an outdoor learning center. Putting a little library at the park is a way to build on that 10-year-old mission, Kostoff said.

“We played around with different ideas — she (Konik) brought up the idea of the little library and I ran with it,” he said. “It fell in place with builders, with funding, with a grant I wrote for Rotary International.”

The creation of the library is a testament to the Cloverdale community, Kostoff said during the ribbon cutting, with different people and groups having a hand in making the idea of the library a reality — Larry Reynolds and Jules Volpe built it, the Cloverdale High School Interact Club painted it, Karma Dog Construction installed it and the Kiwanis Club donated kids books so the library wouldn’t be bare.

“We’ve been supporting the other Little Free Libraries in Cloverdale with kids books. In the last 10 years we have given away somewhere in excess of 40,000 books to kids here in Cloverdale,” said Kiwanis member Julie Carter, speaking to the club’s ongoing support of literacy in the community. One of the pillar programs of the Kiwanis Club’s involvement in promoting youth literacy is its participation in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a program that provides kids from birth to age 5 with a book a month.

According to one person who attended the ribbon cutting for the library, when Rotary rehabilitated Kleiser Park 10 years ago, they hit the foundation of the old schoolhouse. And, according to Kostoff, two of the Rotary Club’s members attended the school as young Cloverdalians.

“Here we are, six months later, we have this amazing piece of art in some ways, that we’re going to display in the park forever,” Kostoff said.

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