February 11th, 2021


what kind of little free library steward are you?

petrini1 reminded me that one of my favorite dramatic internet groups is one for Little Free Library stewards... but I took action on that one last month! And it's a great story.

To start... let me say that 99.9% of LFL stewards are the NICEST people you will ever meet - I have loved every single one in Wichita. We're people who build free structures to share books and spread the love of literacy, what's not to love? We're the best!

But facebook groups are facebook groups, so clashes are inevitable. I've been in the big group for almost a decade now as an early adopter steward so I've seen it on repeat loops. Someone new joins up and asks a weird question, like... "what should my budget be for valentine's day decorations?" or "how many columns are in your book tracking spreadsheet" or "how often should I police my library to make sure nobody's leaving dirty romance novels?"

And then some OTHER new people will jump all over them for being an overkill busy body and there's a dramatic post about "some people need to get a life!" or "I just want to run a library I can't stand all this pressure to do SO MUCH!" or "I can't stand that this group is so dramatic and negative I'm leaving!" or my favorite... "I hate these judgmental posts! Only I can judge, and I judge judgmental posts for being judgmental!"

Finally I remembered that I am an internet expert on different personalities, for many years I had a website full of famous quizzes for people to evaluate themselves and have FUN with our differences. Could the stewards use that? YES! I made it happen!

What's your Little Free Library steward personality type?

I just got it all out there. Asked all the questions that ruffle our feathers, and offered up common responses in a way that shows there are no "wrong" ones, we're just different. Then the results page tells everyone that they are awesome in their own way.

The group loved it and it was taken hundreds of times. We haven't had a fight since. If another weird debate comes up again, I'll be able to post my quiz as a pointer to remind people that differences are something we KNOW about, and celebrate.

Internet, you pull people apart. But thanks to my extensive background in geocities and livejournal and silly memes, I can bring people together. 2021 is the healing year. We're naming our problems and curing our illnesses. This story is not big, but it's my tiny part.

Oh and even if you're not a steward, if you want to imagine that you've got free books in your front yard and take the quiz, feel free! You don't have to answer every question. I'd love to hear what you think about your type. I hope it brightens your day so you can relax. Enjoy your favorite chair and a warm drink and if you're lucky, something to read.