Generation G: A Very Young 86-Year-Old Builds GiGi’s Little Library

Karen, Literacy Tutoring Coordinator, and Richard, Architect and Builder shares his Little Library plans.

We have a very special volunteer in Richard Reichert! He is a talented 86-year-young retired Industrial Arts teacher. Richard accepted the challenge after talking to Site Coordinator Judy Co about a Playhouse dream of having a “GiGi’s Playhouse Little Library.” Never mind that it was only Richard’s second time to the Playhouse, that he didn’t have a workshop because he had recently moved to a condo, and that he didn’t know what a “Little Library” was. After many discussions, various architectural plans, and adjusted construction specs, just like when building a big Playhouse, Richard made his magic happen!

Marimargaret and two little readers look at some books.

Richard and Marimargaret began their association with GiGi’s shortly after the grand opening.  Site coordinator Judy Co discussed the concept of a Little Library with the Reicherts, and Richard began considering various designs on the internet. He observed, however, that there was always at least one element missing.  So, with pencil in hand, he designed the Little Library himself.



Niam loves peeking in the Little Library and see what books he can read!

Lots of love and care went into the design–securing the four legs to the pedestal at an angle that would allow the little ones to walk right up to the house. Acetate panels are used for the door instead of glass to ensure safety for the children, and the door handle chosen ensures those little hands can easily grasp and open the door to see the books.  The size of the house allows both big and little books to fit perfectly.  The paint colors complement the colors in the playhouse. . .bright and bold and colorful. GiGi’s Little Library now occupies a prominent space in the Playhouse that is readily accessible to the children.

The library opened in conjunction with the launch of the Literacy Program. It is absolutely adorable, and our participants love being able to take a book or leave a book. Children are already drawn to the bright, beautiful colors and can’t wait to open the door and pull out a book to read. Volunteers’ children who want to get involved are donating books to the mini-Playhouse library. The Little Library coming to life is all about Generation G – generosity and kindness. We are thrilled with our new GiGi’s Little Library and more importantly, that we made a forever friend in Richard!

The Reicherts look on as Kim Eckert, Board President, declares the Little Library officially open with a ribbon cutting shared with two excited Playhouse participants.

Make the Generation G Promise during the month of October! Click here Be sure to select Annapolis from the drop down menu under “Take the Promise.” Join us in making the world a better place…like Richard and Marimargaret!

Editor’s Note: Todd Bol paid homage to his Mom, a teacher and book lover. He built a doll-sized school house, filled it with books and put it outside for his neighbors in Hudson, Wisconsin as a book exchange. Now there are over 75,000 Little Free Libraries around the world.  Little Libraries are friendly, engage people of all ages in a sharing economy, there are no fines or due dates, giving books feels as good as taking a book. Books are powerful and reading opens doors to ideas and opportunities and can encourage people to want to make the world a better place. Sounds alot like GiGi’s Playhouse! We remember Todd Bol who passed away on October 18th, 2018.

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