Barnum Community Education put a community call out for a volunteer to build a Little Free Library last fall.

Buzz and Vicki DeLaRosby contacted me late winter, and they got started on this project. With the help of Buzz and my husband, we installed the library on July 9. It is located at the main entrance of Barnum City Park.

Buzz gave me some background on the Little Free Library that is just too heartwarming not to share. This amazing Little Library has been a dream of mine for quite some time. And he built it above and beyond what I even imagined! I was absolutely delighted when he invited me over to his shop to check out the final project. His comment: “Pictures didn’t give it justice.”

Buzz used materials he had on hand and it evolved from there. The base was a nice finished piece of ¾ inch plywood that was a storage shelf in his chemistry classroom at the old Two Harbors High School that was torn down about 12 years ago. It was just the right size, so he built it based on that, which is why it got so wide and deep!

Then, he had recent leftovers from a shelving project from his son’s new home in Bayport that were just perfect for the sides of the three-shelf design, so it ended a little higher than planned!

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The library roof came from a home gym project in Woodbury, and the back of the boards were from a failed raised garden bed project with the origin of Sturgeon Lake. He had scraps from everywhere!

Buzz told me he struggled to find a door, and that issue was resolved when he found an old wooden window leaning against his neighbor’s mailbox! It had been there a couple weeks as they were trying to get rid of it. He added the hardware from his own personal cabinet junk, and a little putty and paint as his uncle, Don, would say, “Make things that ain’t.”

The library shelves were cut from an old oak tabletop that he picked up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when he visited his daughter a few years ago. Then we reached out to Bobby Minkkinen about some extra shingles his dad had from a leftover job, and the roof was complete.

All Buzz had to purchase were some trim boards and a post to mount the library on!

His wife, Vicki, provided the personalized, hand-painted artwork to make his pale, blue box with a door into a whimsical little sidewalk library!

To finish it off, Jill Bailey, of Little Piece Kreations, made us an awesome Barnum Community Education logo with our phone number in case there are any issues with the Library.

A huge thank you to Buzz and Vicki DeLaRosby, Jill Bailey, my husband (who always gets roped into my master plans), Mayor Jason Goodwin and the Barnum City Council for supporting this great addition to Barnum!

While I am not taking book donations due to lack of storage, I just ask that you take a few books and leave a few books! I will be using our AGE to age Reading Thru the Ages grant funds to purchase newer books to circulate through the library.

My goal is to put Little Free Libraries at the elementary and high school main entrances, as well. If you are interested in building one for me, please contact me at 218-389-0108, or

"Community Education Corner" features news from Community Education programs in Carlton County.