I can no longer contain my enthusiasm!
Joel and I have always been outspoken when it comes to using your for-profit business to enhance your community and support causes which truly speak to your heart. The most exhilarating part of building Maeva's Coffee Shop in The Milton Schoolhouse (to commence after the holidays!) are the opportunities Maeva's will give us to bring incredible things other than coffee into Alton.
Joel and I have selected three things between us that really excite us to begin along with the opening of Maeva's coffee. While I won't spill the beans on the other two- I've just got to tell you about one of the projects I have been working on. When Maeva's opens, we will be joining The Little Free Library system!
For those of you unfamiliar with The Little Free Library, this concept began in rural parts of Europe where folks live a much different life than we do here. Small communities, who didn't necessarily have the benefit of an accessible public library system, would get together and turn an old phone booth, a box, or a shed into a little library for their community. My mom made me aware that the concept had spread to the states- and a more established "Little Free Library" had been started a few years back by a couple in Wisconsin. Currently, there are more than 10,000 little free community libraries all over the world.
The system operates in a take a book, read a book, bring it back/leave a book type of way. It's a simple way to get literature into the hands of everyone without pressures of fines/fees- and to build a sense of connection between us (mostly) introverted bookish types. As a book lover and a life-long reader who is married to someone who never read before we met, I can't wait to get together with all of you, share some of my favorite books, and read some of yours.
Maeva's will not have a free standing box outside (as many of these libraries are constructed) but rather three 10' shelves just outside the shop doors. We'll make a cozy seating area nearby and some awesome signage to explain what the heck we're doing. We will be carefully curating the books left/stocked in the little library to make sure there is a good variety for everyone to enjoy. Each book will be stamped with the Maeva's logo- and anyone who enjoys the book will be encouraged to sign their name on the book cover. Yes, some books will be taken and kept. That's perfectly fine! I don't know about you, but the prospect of someone truly enjoying what I've given out of my own collection- enough to keep it or perhaps pass it along- is great by me. I'm sure as people come to enjoy what this little library is, we'll have far more books returned and added to accommodate our shelves.
We have some great books to start out with- but we'd love you to get involved too. If you think this is something you want to promote or will enjoy yourself as you come to visit, please take a moment and go through your own collection to find a book or two (or box or two!) to help us create a good starting selection. Give us a call, and we'll arrange a time where you can drop off your books and be the first to sign them officially into the library (if you'd like to be anonymous, that's fine, too). We'll be sorting books into boxes by genre over the winter- ready to put them out for everyone to enjoy when the shop opens in May/June.
These are the genres we are currently seeking:
How To Manuals
Recent and Relevant Business Books
Cook Books/ Health and Nutrition
(Clean) Humor Books
(Cleanish) Graphic Novels or Classic Comics (like Calvin and Hobbes)
Anything you might want to share, have a second copy of, or think "that was good, but I probably won't read it again".
Please stay away from anything really political/religious that may be offensive or pushy (classic stuff that you might get in your history of politics class in college is just fine).
If you'd like to get involved, give me (Meredith) a call at 217.971.3627 to throw in your book donation and help us get this awesome thing started! We'd love to have a good, solid collection to start out with when Maeva's opens.