BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — At the corner of Brazil Avenue and Domingo Street in southwest Bakersfield, you’ll find The Kindness Library outside Lori Renee’s home.
"Anybody can come and get whatever book they’re looking for," said Lori. "There’s no charge, the books are always free. You can take two or three if you want. You don't have to bring a book to get a book. Just as long as you’re reading.”
It’s filled with free books for all ages. They come from Lori’s family and donations from community members. All are welcome to give and take books.
“Just sharing the books and getting them out there so everybody can read," said Lori.
She said she hopes these kinds of libraries inspire others to not only read but to also always be kind. And she isn’t the only one with a little library like this
You can actually find them all over the country through littlefreelibrary.org. But Lori’s here has a special family connection.
On the back of the wooden box, you’ll see a tribute to Lori’s mother-in-law Doris painted alongside her favorite flowers.
"She was a librarian in Lamont and she was also a world renowned Dust Bowl historian, so when I did the little free library, I did it in her memory," she said.
Lori also uses her Kindness Library’s Facebook page to post “Storytime with Grandma Lori” videos. Her grandchildren live in different states so she first made the videos to stay connected to them, but then she started including other children too.
“Then I started saying hi in the videos to just say random childrens' names so that maybe some child listening to it would hear their name," said Lori.
She said sharing her family’s love for reading with Kern County is rewarding.
“Every once in a while I get a little note that says, 'Thank you for having this library here,' or 'I found my favorite book here.'”
And she encourages everyone to stop by.
“If you’re going for a walk, come get a book. If you’re driving by, come get a book," said Lori.
If you know someone who should be featured in Kern's Kindness, email us your idea at firstname.lastname@example.org.