The Help Desk: My local Little Free Library is a disaster

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Dear Cienna,

The Little Free Library closest to my house is often full of crap. I'm talking outdated programming books and collections of VHS tapes and other things that stay in the LFL for weeks and weeks because no one wants them. The structure is not in someone's front yard, so it's unclear who is responsible for it. I'm tempted to weed the LFL myself, tossing the old crap and filling it with newer novels, audio books on CD, hardback non-fiction titles. (I just KonMari-ed my bookshelves, so I have lots of goodies to contribute.) Would that be overstepping?


Alyssa, Capitol Hill

Dear Alyssa,

I admire your “go-getter” attitude. Personally, I’ve never been convinced of the community benefit of those tiny libraries. To me, they are what you’ve experienced: twee trash cans adored and installed by middle- and upper-class individuals who believe that their poorer neighbors will treasure their garbage.

But I’ve been wrong about many things lately. For instance: take the ghosts haunting my vagina. Most contemporary researchers agree that the best method for dispelling ghosts is to ask them politely but firmly to leave. If that doesn’t work, leading studies show that asking a ghost what it wants – like a ham sandwich, for instance – and then satiating it will do the trick.

I consider myself a woman of science, unmoved by superstition, so for months I have faithfully followed the scientific method.

“PLEASE LEAVE,” I scream at my vagina on a near-nightly basis. Followed by, “DO YOU WANT A HAM SANDWICH?”

Still, the hauntings have continued. So last weekend, I purchased an amethyst dildo from a serene wiccan named Goshuhn. Now, I’m not one to believe in the healing powers of crystals, but Goshuhn assured me that ghosts really hate amethysts because the crystal is known as a sobering agent and ghosts love to party (bizarrely, they also love ham sandwiches so I might’ve just been encouraging them to stick around).

Despite my skepticism, the amethyst dildo appears to be working. I have noticed a 50 percent reduction in paranormal activity in my vagina over the past week.

This is all to say, while I’m skeptical that a little free library can work, I am willing to put my faith in you, Alyssa. Tomorrow, tape a sign to that tiny library that says something like,

Spring cleaning! I’ve noticed our pickings have become a bit stale, so on TKTKTK (this is where you fill in a date/time) I’ll be tossing old items and replacing them with new stock. Please feel free to stop by, say hi, and contribute a book that you love and think others will enjoy. If you have questions, contact me at TKTKTK (this is where you put your email address, if you want).

I believe in you,