Take a Book, Leave a Book at Twinbrook

I do not think of Twinbrook as a visitor destination, but rather as a place with various resources (commercial and otherwise) for the local community. The first time I ever used this Metro, I was shopping for fabric at Michaels in one of the every-chain-store-you-could-need shopping centers. Nearby Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington was one of my Weekly Museum Visits, but I seemed to be the only person there in the capacity of a museum/gallery visitor. The center is there primarily for community members and also has gallery space where visitors are welcomed.

On one of the residential streets near the Metro station, there is a Little Free Library. I have written this before, and I will say again that I am enchanted by Little Free Libraries. This particular one in Rockville near the Twinbrook Metro was extra charming because it matches the house it sits in front of:


Stopping by the Little Free Library on New Year’s Day (and ringing in the New Year at a literary-themed restaurant, and going to a public library today…) was apropos given that one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read more books. Not just articles and tweets and memes on my phone, but more actual books.

The content I can read on my phone is addictive, but I am beginning to question how much I am really learning from it. For every article that cites certain statistics to support a position, there seems to be another article that cites opposite statistics to support the opposite position. I do believe it is possible to sift through it all and get down to the actual facts as we can best know them, but to do so could easily become a full-time job and would require time and energy I don’t have.

Books are not immune to this phenomenon, but there are some mitigating aspects of books: the length of time that goes into researching and writing them, the lack of 24-hour-news-cycle pressure, the (however flawed) standards for getting a book published, the longer and more in-depth exploration provided to the reader.

As a museum person at heart, and as an ethical culturist, I wish and hope for an informed and humane citizenry. I do not want to be stuck in an echo chamber, only to leave completely ill-equipped to discuss anything with someone who has been stuck in their own, different echo chamber.

Little Free Libraries, while not by any means purporting to offer a complete canon or broad selection of literature in any one kiosk, nonetheless play their own little free role in promoting an informed and humane citizenry.  And anyone can play a part – just as I did by leaving a few books in the Little Free Library a few blocks from the Twinbrook Metro the other day.

Happy, literary New Year!

Twinbrook is on the Red Line.


About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
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