What’s New

Visit this page regularly to learn all about new Wendy’s Words Libraries, to see pictures and for other related news.

Giving a big THANK YOU to Polli Murphy for her generous contribution to Wendy’s Words Libraries! Her donation will help us purchase book plates for each library book to spread our mission statement – promote reading, encourage literacy and foster neighborhoods, and Wendy’s philosophy printed right on the bookplates. Three cheers for Polli!

Did we ever say thank you to Mel Williford for the cash donation to Wendy’s Words? If not, thank you- we appreciate it! If we did, better twice than not at all. And to Susan Cornford, thank you for the terrific children’s books. Needed and will be used of course! Three cheers for both of you!

Sometimes you have 2 loves and when they collide its a beautiful thing!!! Welcome Wendy’s Words Library #58!!! A gift to the Kern County Animal shelter on Fruitvale. This beautiful dog house style library was gifted by No Kill Kern and Wendy’s Words to compliment the shelter’s brand new Tales for Tails program ❤️

Library 58
Steward: Tales for Tails Staff
Kern County Animal Shelter
3951 Fruitvale Ave.
Bakersfield, CA 93308

 Welcoming Grant and Julie Fieldgrove to Wendy’s Words libraries with library #55! Wow! So happy to have such enthusiastic and terrific people joining us! You may recognize this library – it made a journey recently from its home in Quailwood to Shafter, to be spotted by an alert Fire Captain and returned by the Shafter Police Department to Quailwood. You couldn’t have made that up if you had tried. Grant writes books, by the way. I’m hopping on Amazon now to buy one.

Library 55

AN INCREDIBLE ENORMOUS THANK YOU TO SEQUOIA MIDDLE SCHOOL  for FORTY, that’s right, FORTY  BOXES OF BOOKS! These are high quality, amazing books and we are so very grateful. 

What will we do with 40 boxes of books? Our mobile library is on the way! Construction starts on Monday, March 21st. Home Depot  made a donation of $150 worth of materials, we have a volunteer builder, and the grant from Children First has enabled us to purchase the trailer, cover and rest of the materials. We finally hope to be on the road in three or so months. Everything takes longer than it seems but it will happen.  Thank you Home Depot for your donation.

We have some more thank yous – again to Marilyn Droppers for a cash donation. They are always appreciated and used to purchase bookplates. These are placed in each book to spread Wendy’s Words. We changed the design recently to this more colorful version hoping to draw more attention to the important messages Wendy taught us all on how to live a meaningful life of service. 

Click here for an interactive map of all the Wendy’s Words Libraries.  Thank you to David Dow for creating it for us just because he wanted to!!

Thank you to Marilyn Droppers for the generous cash donation 

Thank you to Shawnra Ancheta and Kelly R. Kimsey for the book donation, including those old favorites The Bobbsey Twins. When I was growing up they were my favorites – reading about Nan and Bert, Flossie and Freddie.

And congratulations to our very own administrator Bernadette Ferguson for having her home included on the Chez Noel tour sponsored by the Assistance League. The tour raises money for Operation School Bell and the other programs the League conducts to help children, and it also gave great exposure to Wendy’s Words since Bernadette has the beautiful  red phone booth library.

We are sorry to lose Laurie Bowers but again, we are excited  that we will have another Wendy’s Words Library in a new city as soon as she is settled in her new home. Thank you, good bye and good luck to Laurie!

Another BIG thank you to Franklin Elementary for 11 boxes of children’s books. We sure do appreciate those donations.

Recent changes in Library Stewardships

We’re sorry to see Valeria Baena leave us to return to her native Bogota, Columbia – but she took her charter sign with her and we are looking forward to having a Wendy’s Words library on the South American continent! Her spot is being filled by Kristin Hayes on Riata Lane and we’ll post a photo as soon as we have it. Her library is cuter than cute! So we are hanging steady at 51.

And Sonia Garza has done a wonderful job of taking over Library #19 on River Hawk Ln. Thank you, Sonia! Welcome to Wendy’s Words Libraries!  We appreciate you so much.

 Wow – do we have some news for What’s New! First of all, we have reached a milestone. With Matt McCoy’s library in Hart Flat, we now have 50 Wendy’s Words Libraries! That’s half a hundred. Pat Johnson and I (Susan Reep) started the library project in 2012 and our first library opened on November 28. So it’s less than three years and we have 50! I am truly humbled and grateful to the people of Bakersfield and Kern County and all the others who have erected Little Free Libraries in honor of Wendy Wayne.  Matt McCoy – little did you know that you were reaching a milestone for us! It’s just an awesome number to reach.

Thank you so much to Scott Cox for inviting Bernadette and me to guest on his radio show this morning. What a wonderful opportunity to talk about the libraries – and share the news about #50! The whole idea is to promote Wendy’s Words for a dual purpose – to communicate Wendy’s Words, or ten principles to live by which are on the bookplates in each book; but of course to encourage literacy, foster community and build neighborhoods. Bakersfield doesn’t fare well in literacy rankings and we’re doing our best to get books into the hands of those that need them. To see or download a copy of the interview with Scott Cox

Click here  

To that end MANY KUDOS are due to CHILDREN FIRST and the libraries they are establishing in the WIC  offices. WIC is the program for Women, Infants and Children to make sure they get a good start in life. So happy to have books available and free for the taking.


AND – the grant we received from Children First for our mobile library is doing it’s job. Construction is about to begin and we hope to be on the road in a couple of months at most.  


Thank you Stephanie Wood and other teachers and staff from Eissler School for donating wonderful boxes of books! As we get our mobile library ready, we can use as many children’s books as we can get and these really help!

HUGE update! I just returned from a month in Italy and have some catching up to do! So many great things happened when I was gone and there are many people to thank.

1.  Once again, the Liberty High School Chapter of the National English Honor Society has made a huge donation of books to Wendy’s Words. The students collected 16 boxes of books for us! Great work.

 2. We also are grateful for smaller donations. Thanks to Jennifer Constantine for those books she was unable to use in her classroom – we can use them in the libraries! And thank you Karen Northcutt for the great children’s books. They are already out in the libraries put to good use.

3. Money helps also. Thanks to our Canadian steward Jamie for the donation – and take a look at the NEW look of the library up north! Looking good up there.

 4. We also are thankful to Ben and Marlene Bagdikian for the generous donation in memory of Ben’s son Chris who passed away recently. It is a huge loss to our community.

 5. Gil and Ramona Gia are moving right along with the WIC libraries and there are five now.  WIC is a program for Women, Infants and Children to help those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged get a nutritious start in life, and the Gias, along with many other volunteers and Children First, are putting Wendy’s Words Libraries in WIC offices. We think this is one of the best developments for Wendy’s Words and are so excited to see these libraries spring into life.

 6. We had great fun on May 16th organizing a caravan for our library stewards. We managed to get to half of our libraries to visit them, talk about ideas, and take photos. We had a really good time and in the fall hope to finish the second half. By then, at the rate we are growing, we may even have a third half!

 7. Lastly for now, the trailer has been purchased for our mobile library and construction is starting. We are just itching to get on the road.

Not only are there amazing and generous individuals in Bakersfield but we also have amazing and generous schools! Huge thank you to Downtown Elementary for the donation of 2 large boxes of children’s books to the red phone booth library on C Street and 2 large boxes of books to the Tardis library on 19th Street!!!

Many thanks to Gene Tackett, one of our very own library stewards, for the generous donation to Wendy’s Words in memory of Chris Bagdikian.  Chris passed away recently and we also give thanks to his ex-wife Patti Keller for mentioning Wendy’s Words as one of the places people could give donations in lieu of flowers. Thank you Gene, and thank you Patti. Many of us will miss Chris so very much. He was a dear friend.

Did you know that you can  make a donation at this link http://de.gofund.me/ptjzdg on our GoFundMe page? We don’t need much but we do  need some because we have grown so much that it’s getting harder to buy bookplates out of our own pockets! We just received a grant to get our mobile library going, but we need a boost from some extra funds, so if you can spare even a little bit, please visit and share the GoFundMe page.  Thank you!

We’re welcoming three new libraries to the Wendy’s Words Network – one in Bakersfield, one in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and one in Ontario, Canada! Yes, we’ve gone international! And we are at 43 libraries!!!

First right here in Bakersfield, the doctor is in, thanks to Shari Fortino and Mike Smothers. This is sure to cause a stir in the downtown Westchester neighborhood. Thanks Shari and Mike!

And our first volunteer Claudette Hunter helped her mother, 92-year-old Elinore Herriman, get her library started in Las Cruces New Mexico. Elinore is our oldest steward – in years – but surely not in spirit.

And our international star Jamie Naessens read our webpage and liked what he saw and asked to be a  part of Wendy’s Words. We are thrilled and so happy to have Jamie and his library in our network. Paying it forward is what it’s all about and it’s what Wendy’s life was about.

Many book donations lately but no one is complaining! We’re so grateful to the community for their support.

MyLinh and Jay Joson donated several dozen beautiful children’s books that looked brand new. MyLinh said they take care of their books! I can tell. She has a pharmacy and said she remembers Wendy from when she came into her pharmacy. 

Jennifer Castro-Barnes held birthday parties for her two daughters Sophie and Emma, and in lieu of gifts asked guests to bring a book for Wendy’s Words Libraries. We received dozens of fabulous books. I wanted to keep them all myself! But of course they are all going to libraries and will be a real treat for the children who borrow them.  One of the parties was the one with the cute “Frozen” invitation that is somewhere on this thank you list.

The Wiggins Family gave us an assortment of Junie B. Jones books, so fans of this series are all set for a while.

We had a lovely book recommendation left in the library which I affixed to the appropriate book. Looks like a book we could all learn from!

Many thanks to Franklin Elementary School for 10 boxes of children’s books! All three of my daughters went to Franklin, and Bernadette’s son is currently a student there so we have a long history of volunteering with that school. It’s a terrific neighborhood school. Thank you so very, very much.

And again, more thanks, this time to Melissa Wilson and her daughter who brought us four large boxes of books! A real bonanza.

THANK YOU Angela Hullah for two boxes of top quality, like new books for Wendy’s Words libraries! They couldn’t have come at a better time! Really wonderful children’s books – there are lucky boys in that household to have books like these to read. Really terrific. Three cheers for Angela!

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Michelle McNamara for the generous cash donation. It couldn’t have come at a better time. We appreciate that Michelle, so very much.

March 4, 2015: We have GOOD NEWS and BAD NEWS. Should we start with the bad news? Someone took our Free Library name quite literally and helped themselves not only to the books, but to the library in the Seeds of Inspiration Community Garden on 4th Street. We’re glad that someone is so enthusiastic about libraries, but we hope that enthusiasm extends to second thoughts about keeping it. That little barn library was constructed and installed by Michael and Paige Villicano and their family and we were in love with it! The GOOD news is that AERA Energy and Kern Green, along with library steward Amber Beeson, sprung to the rescue and immediately provided a darling little school bus library for the space. THANK YOU AERA, Kern Green and Amber! We have flyers to distribute in the neighborhood, SUNDAY 9 TO NOON, to make sure everyone understands that it is their library and to encourage neighbors to feel protective of it.

Steward: Amber Beeson
Seeds of Inspiration Community Garden
4th Street
Bakersfield, CA

I (Susan, the Wendy’s Words founder) was ready for a new library. Our very creative administrator Bernadette came across this fantastic bookshelf or what-not, or whatever it is, at a local place called Jack’s Treasures. Well, Bernadette and I see “LIBRARY” in just about everything nowadays. Why not? So for $45 and some hard work with a paint brush (Bernadette), some stone work (my husband), I have my Alice in Wonderland library. Mine is being repurposed for someone already.

Speaking of repurposing and being creative – this old gun cabinet cost us $20 and it’s not going to take much to turn it into a library. We’ll auction it off for some much-needed funds.

Library #39 is here! Out of the blue we found out that a wonderful lady named Michelle McNamara has a library ready to go at Standard Elementary School. We are beyond thrilled! It’s in a part of town that needs libraries. We can’t give enough thanks to Michelle and whoever the wonderful person is who built her darling library.


We have a new poster that helps people attach Wendy herself with the Words of Wisdom we have used on the bookplates.

Today Children First held a press conference to announce the opening of the first of seven Wendy’s Words Libraries in WIC centers (Women, Infants and Children) in Kern County. Wendy’s Words is thrilled to partner with Children First in placing libraries where they are needed the most.

Here is a copy of the press release about the Wendy’s Words Library opening at the WIC center in PDF form  media release.

Here are some photos from the WIC library opening on Dr. Seuss’ birthday! The Cat in the Hat himself came to visit and we celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with cake. Wendy’s Words co-founder Pat Johnson read to the children and the third member of the “Wendy’s Words trio”, Bernadette Ferguson, held her daughter Ayla.

We welcome our newest library steward Susan Turnbull with library #35! That means when the two Modesto libraries come online, we will be well on the way to 40. Amazing! Thank you, Susan, for you beautiful library, and especially in a part of town that isn’t well represented yet. Wendy’s Words is rocking’ and rollin’!

We have more book donations to acknowledge. First, thank you AGAIN to Margaret Van  Metre, this time for adult books. Wendy’s Words appreciates having books in reserve for when we have lots of new libraries come online at once, and I think we are about to have another growth spurt!

And also we say a giant thank you to Terry Derouchie and Phillip Derouchie for a fine selection of books for our adult libraries. There is a little of everything in their collection and we are very appreciative.

Library #34 has opened in Burbank, CA! We are moving up and down California! How fun to have libraries spreading the word of Wendy’s philosophy of life as well as building community, literacy and the love of reading. Thanks to Burbank steward Noreen Reardon, and welcome!

Steward: Noreen Reardon
360 W. Elm Ave.
Burbank, CA 91506

To paraphrase Dr. Seuss – Oh the places we’ll go!  TWO libraries are coming online in Modesto, CA. That’s TWO MORE Wendy’s Words libraries outside of Bakersfield. These are at a charter school. Principal Jamey Olney will be holding a press conference but she’s giving us a sneak peek. We are on our way to 40 libraries!

 Huge thanks to Margaret Van Metre for the donation of two big boxes of children’s books. These are extra special because they are all inscribed to her two sons for birthdays, Christmases, Easters, and other holidays as they grew up. This is a mom who made sure her children read and took the time to pick out some wonderful books, and now so many other children are going to benefit as they enter the Wendy’s Words Little Free Library system. Thank you, Margaret, for such a special donation.

Also, thanks to Bernadette for making a new library for Shelby Antongiovanni. Shelby won our last drawing, but the library she won wasn’t sturdy enough – although it was so cute we just had to try it – so Bernadette reworked a little cupboard she found and now Shelby has a super cute and original working library!

Here is the link to the story about the first Wendy’s Words Library in Wyoming. The article appeared in The Sheridan Press of Sheridan, Wyoming, on December 23, 2014. http://thesheridanpress.com/?p=29202

And we owe a giant thank you to Ione Lollar for the generous donation that will help us continue to purchase book plates with Wendy’s Words. When I see people at my library and am able to chat with them, I always ask if they have read the book plate, and we look it over together. I think it makes the library more personal and gives them a greater tie-in.

Library number 33 is up and running. Thank you to Valeria Baena, our newest steward, who has opened our first library in Quailwood.  Valeria is from Columbia and we hope will be finding some bilingual materials for her library. Welcome, Valeria!

Did you ever wonder how it would feel to be famous and have your name on a billboard in Times Square? No, I never did either. But Bernadette has her picture and name and Wendy’s Words Library on a billboard as a finalist in a Black and Decker DIY contest. Pretty cool! It would be neat if she won – there’s a not too shabby $10,000 prize!

Bakersfield Life Magazine, a monthly supplement to The Bakersfield Californian, did a great feature on Wendy’s Words Libraries in their annual Giving issue Click here to read the article.

I wrote a Community Voice for the paper to thank our wonderful giving, caring community. Who could imagine that in two years we would go from no little libraries to, as of today, 34! Click here to read the Community Voice. And that’s just the Wendy’s Words. Since we started those, there are at least 10 more that are not part of the Wendy’s Words  network. That’s just wonderful.

A tribute to Wendy Wayne was submitted by Yvonne Torres to bakersfieldobserved.com reflecting on her struggle with cancer and what Wendy did to inspire her click here to read the tribute.

Thanks to Bernadette Ferguson, one of our Wendy’s Words administrators, for filling in while Pat and I (Susan) were out of town – twice! Bernadette appeared on the Scott Cox radio show. And yes, appeared is the right word because it is streamed on the internet. Click here to see and listen, and again Bernadette did a KERO newscast on very short notice about our 2-year anniversary click here.

A HUGE thank you to the Villicano Family for the donation of 19 starter boxes of books for the next 19 Wendy’s Words Libraries. What an amazing donation! 

Two more beautiful libraries to add to the mix:

Steward: Shelby Antongiovanni
5819 Sky Ranch Ave
Bakersfield CA 93306

Steward: Heather Evans
4313 Sun Devils Ave
Bakersfield CA 93313

Shelby Antongiovanni and Heather Evans each have their very own library ready for service!!

Also,  a giant thank you to Peyton Kniffen, who celebrated her Bat Mitzvah and did a wonderful mitzvah by enclosing this card in her invitation. Sonia Simrin, who passed away recently, is Peyton’s great-grandma and her mom Echo’s grandma, and Sonia told Echo about Wendy’s Words. Echo and Peyton decided it would be an excellent mitzvah (act of charity or beneficial act) for her Bat Mitzvah to collect books for Wendy’s Words, so they did. And here’s what we received. We are so grateful on so many levels for this act of kindness. 

Wendy’s Words Libraries adds library #30 before our second anniversary which is approaching November 28. It’s incredible to imagine that in just two years, 30 libraries have been established in Wendy Wayne’s memory and further our mission statement of promoting reading, furthering literacy, and building community.  Thank you to Coleen Keiser for Library #30.

It’s official: the first out-of-state Wendy’s Words Library is now open for business (well, check-out) in Sheridan, Wyoming.  No amount of snow will stop Sheridanites from using their very first Little Free Library!!

More thanks, this time to Patty Gomez Salazar for the donation of books.  Every book counts!

Each library is beautiful and unique.  The creativity of all of the people involved in this effort is amazing and appreciated.

Two libraries have gone up recently.  Amber Beeson is the steward of the new Stiern Park Library.  It was made by Dana Villicano’s 4-H Club.  And Mercedes Simpson has installed one as well.

Steward: Mercedes Simpson
448 S. Oildale Dr.
Bakersfield CA 93308

Steward: Amber Beeson
Stiern Park Library
5201 Monitor St.
Bakersfield CA 93313

The newest library just went up in Wasco. Thank you Wasco Woman’s Club for putting up this fabulous Wendy’s Words Library. It’s just beautiful! Now we have libraries in Shafter and Wasco – and Ventura. We’d love to see some in Arvin and Lamont. Anyone up for that?

Steward: Judy Myers
443 Beckes St.
Wasco, CA 93280

We give BIG thanks to Dana Villicano and her family for building a library shaped like a barn and donating it to the Seeds of Inspiration Community Garden here in Bakersfield. Amber Beeson of  The Giving Tree Project (http://givingtreeproject.com/ ) is happy to add the library to the garden so today there was a barn raising with Amber, Dana, her father, and her son Michael, along with Bernadette from Wendy’s Words. We have plans for a seed exchange, cookbook exchange, and other ideas to enhance this special library.

Many thanks to Cris Reep for the donation of excellent adult books. We appreciate it!

A big thank you to Doug and Sue Higgins for the contribution to Wendy’s Words libraries. Every donation helps us with purchases of book plates and library signs. Thank you, Doug and Sue.

Did we thank Laurie Kessler not only for the monetary donation to Wendy’s Words Libraries Bakersfield’s Little Free Libraries – Wendy’s Words Libraries and More, but for the BOOKS! A double whammy in the best possible way!!! Thank you Laurie!!

Another thank you to Marilyn Droppers for the monetary donation!

BIG THANK YOUS – to Mark Smith and Bernadette Ferguson for taking old newspaper stands donated by The Bakersfield Californian and turning them into beautiful libraries.  Mark spent a couple of days and about $30 converting an old metal stand. It required a lot of skill to do it. Bernadette took a decrepit, heavy, plastic stand and turned it into a Dr. Who TARDIS. This took ingenuity and elbow grease, time and money, and wasn’t for the faint of heart. We’re crossing our fingers that it holds up. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

And speaking of Bernadette Ferguson, Pat and I have asked her to help us run Wendy’s Words Libraries and she has agreed. Thank you Bernadette, for your enthusiasm, energy, ideas, spark, and reminding us what it was like to be young.

Welcome to our three newest library stewards, Marilyn Droppers, Mel Wilford and Patty Wonderly! This brings us up to 22 Wendy’s Words Libraries in Kern County, an astonishing number since we begin the project not even two years ago. Pictures of their libraries are on the Bakersfield Libraries page.

More thanks to offer! May they continue to come – we feel so lucky!

While we didn’t win the Beautiful Bakersfield Awards, we were honored to be in such wonderful company – all the nominees contributed so much to the community that we were really the new guys on the block. Maybe someday, but kudos to all the nominees and winners.

The Little Free Library blog did a very lovely post on Wendy’s Words Libraries. We are grateful for their support and for making this organization possible. We wouldn’t be here without them. http://littlefreelibrary.org/wendys-words-honoring-loved-one-little-free-libraries/

Thank you to Bakersfield Magazine! The Summer 2014 issue had a great article on Wendy’s Words Libraries. Between just a couple of months ago, when we did the interview, and now – June 20, 2014 – we have gone from 16 to 19 libraries!

To Bernadette Ferguson for building a library and installing it at the Centre for Neuro Skills here in Bakersfield, where patients come from across the United States to rehab from head injuries.

Wendy’s Words Library #18 is open for business at the corner of Margaret Court and Wimbledon. Thank you to steward Janet Shaw for helping us expand into a previously unserved area of town! And the library is a beauty.

Thank you to our local newspaper, The Bakersfield Californian, for the donation of newsstands, that can be re-purposed and used for libraries with a little work and $30 of materials. We are getting this underway but it looks like it will work out great.

Thank you to Kimberly Smith Van Metre for the donation of children’s books for Wendy’s Words Libraries. All book donations are welcome. Thank you, Kim.

Sophie Busacca and the Liberty High School Chapter of the National English Honor Society has made a second big donation of books to the libraries.  Thank you so much to all of you! We appreciate the hard work and the dedication to literacy, which as we all know is a major key to success in life.

Thank you to Jennifer Scott for building and putting a Wendy’s Words Library in her front yard at 1013 Shattuck Ave.

To visit the Little Free Libraries blog click on the link below.



Many, many thanks to library steward Barbara Antongiovanni for the generous donation. While we don’t ask for cash donations, when we get one it helps a great deal to offset costs of book plate printing and the Wendy’s Words signs.  Our costs are very low, but there are some and it’s nice to get ahead of the game as we are growing by leaps and bounds. So THANK YOU BARBARA!


Exciting news from Kristie Coons. The neighborhood outreach committee of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Baker Street will be building a Wendy’s Words Library as part of their outreach program. It’s wonderful to start reaching new communities in Bakersfield. They will use their library to publicize events at the Baker Street Branch of the Kern County Library and also will try to tie into their food outreach program. I love the creative twists the libraries are taking.


One more exciting thank you to Alexis Swanson who is trying to raise $1,500 on gofundme http://www.gofundme.com/8d4z80 to purchase new books for Wendy’s Words Libraries.  Thank you Alexis!

Thank you Laura Lollar Wolfe for nominating Wendy’s Words Libraries for a Beautiful Bakersfield Award in the Education Category. We truly appreciate it. No matter the outcome, we are so grateful to be considered worthy of a nomination and are just appreciative of being able to spread the word of the libraries in this manner. The more people know about the libraries, the more people may establish their own. And the more libraries, the more people are reading. And that’s the goal: promoting reading, encouraging literacy, fostering neighborhoods.
Also, thank you for nominating Pat Johnson and myself (Susan Reep) in the Active Adult category for establishing the Wendy’s Words Libraries project. That is completely humbling to think we could have contributed enough to our community to deserve a nomination, but anything that brings attention to the libraries is good for reasons I stated above. We are sincerely grateful.


What a surprise to find that one of our libraries has become a geocache site! We’re not saying which one – but here are some photos.

Thank you KGET for collecting so many books for us in your lobby. We appreciate all the help and we’ll be ready to stock the next libraries that come online!

We have had an abundance of riches lately. More thanks to give for some truly outstanding book donations, this time to Heather iJames for a slew of boy’s books, Linda Pederson for at least three boxes of amazing children’s books – new and almost new – her children must be the most careful book readers ever; Ethel Katz in Portland, Oregon for mailing a donation of some wonderful books for the libraries. They are beautifully curated new and almost-new books from the Multnomah City Library Book Shop; Hope Youngblood for some terrific children’s books; Natalie Castillo for some kid’s books and a whole series of the classic Dune fantasy/sci fi series.  I hope I’m not forgetting anyone – they’ve been coming in so fast I can hardly keep up.  THANK YOU EVERYONE!

One more piece of news. Little Free Library has a page now with explicit instructions for building libraries. Check out http://littlefreelibrary.org/builders/

We have had several donations of books lately that have been a huge help
building back up our supply of children’s books. We were running low for
the happy reason that we supplied four new libraries! So a big thank you to
Chris McKee, Roger Miller, Jennifer Castro Barnes, Gina and Matt Garbell,
and Natalie Teller Castillo!

Also some exciting news from Dana Villicano and daughter Paige. Paige’s 4H
club will be building and stocking two libraries for their required
woodworking and community service project. We feel so lucky to be the
recipient of such an amazing gift.

A very special thank you to my daughter Jennifer’s current and childhood
friend Jenn Bylin Konopka. She gave me an incredible unexpected Amazon
gift card last night through Facebook – in fact, it was so generous, I at
first thought it was a hoax. I am mentioning it for two reasons. One,
because she said to use as I wished and mentioned books so of course I will
use on libraries; but two, she said her 2014 resolution is to celebrate
people now, not when they are gone (not that she expects me to be gone
soon). What a wonderful resolution and definitely in the spirit of Wendy’s
Words Libraries – paying it forward for Wendy Wayne. Thank you, Jenn.



Click here for a great video of Bernadette Ferguson’s new library from Bakersfieldnow.com!

Bernadette Ferguson surprised us with Bakersfield’s biggest and splashiest library yet, and I don’t think anyone would dispute that it’s the most amazing to date. Wow, Bernadette! She and her husband went all the way to the Apple Valley to locate this phone booth. Thank you for library #16!

Bernadette Ferguson’s Library
2223 ‘C’ St.
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Thanks to proceeds from the Treasures from the Heart Fundraiser, we all have Wendy’s Words Libraries signs now that are all the same. It’s nice to be developing a “brand.”  

Our library stewards got together at Starbucks to exchange ideas and get to know each other. Dan and Helen Fecke brought gifts for everyone – small solar lights that can be attached to the libraries so people walking by at night can still use them. Ours is up and works great. Thank you, Helen and Dan! That was so thoughtful. 

Many thanks to Jeanette Richardson and her wonderful personal generosity in donating her own artwork for sale to benefit nine organizations that she personally selected. Wendy’s Words Libraries is honored to have received part of the proceeds from Treasures from the Heart. This money will enable us to first of all have signs made for each library that will make them easily identifiable as Wendy’s Words Libraries, and then purchase book plates, and assist with library acquisition. Jeanette, this fundraiser not only provided us with funds, but with fun as we met and got to know and work with people from other nonprofits. You have the biggest heart of all!

Thanks to soon-to-be Eagle Scout Guillermo Ramirez, Bakersfield has two more Wendy’s Words Libraries. As his Eagle project, Guillermo built and installed libraries for Barbara Antongiovanni, a dear friend of Wendy’s, and Gene Tackett. Gene was Wendy’s husband so his library installation was special for all of us and an emotional installation. It will be decorated with artwork by his and Wendy’s five grandchildren.  Wendy’s Words now has its anchor right where it should be.

Bakersfield has a new Wendy’s Words Library! Local news anchor on KGET TV 17, Jim Scott, built his own library and has added an innovation with a brochure holder inside for Little Free Library materials, and a place on the outside to mount the Wendy’s Words book plate. This is the 13th library in Bakersfield! Thank you Jim!  

Jim Scott with Wendy’s husband, Gene Tackett


We have a new library!  Thank you Laurie Bowers for starting a Wendys Words Library. 

Steward: Laurie Bowers
11004 Silver Cliff Ct
Bakersfield 93312

Sophia Busacca stands surrounded by the books that she and the Liberty High School Chapter of the National English Honor Society collected in a book drive.

Thank you to Sophia Busacca and the Liberty High School Chapter of the National English Honor Society for the incredible donation of books.  They conducted a book drive that resulted in hundreds of children’s and teen titles that are welcome additions to the libraries around town.  We appreciate their hard work and send a zillion thank yous!

Check out this link to learn about a Little Free Library in Bakersfield that was started independent of Wendy’s Words Libraries. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/lifestyle/local/x1210654694/A-bookish-idea-whose-time-is-long-overdue

A BIG thank you to Teresa, Zane and Cooper Adamo for the awesome book donation! It includes hard copies in mint condition of best-selling fiction and hard copies of the Hunger Games Trilogy.  Way to go, Adamos!

A very grateful thank you to Pamela Elisheva and the youth group at Temple Beth El for raising the funds and building the Wendy’s Words Library that now resides in Janet Blumberg’s front yard. We know Wendy would love this.

And again, thank you to my daughter Karen Davies for taking care of this website. AND if no one beats her to it, she will open the first out-of-state branch of Wendy’s Words Libraries in Sheridan, Wyoming!

Thank you and congratulations to Boy Scouts Wilson Jones and Guillermo Ramirez, who built and installed two Wendy’s Words Libraries each as their Eagle Scout projects.  Wilson’s are up and running and Guillermo’s will be within the month. We appreciate them!

Boy Scouts Wilson Jones, left, and Guillermo Ramirez, right, put up a library at Tom Clobes’ house as part of an Eagle Scout project

Ione Lollar’s Wendy’s Words Library is causing quite a stir in Shafter.  Already they’ve needed a new supply of bookplates, and neighboring communities are interested.  Great job as library steward, Ione!


And a BIG thank you to Heather Ijames for the book donation. We have boy’s books! A great donation of primary grade boy’s books, which is terrific.


Helen Fecke, who will have the next library to open, came to get her book plates and brought me a couple of cookbooks. I put one in my library and it disappeared, so maybe I will have a children’s library and a cookbook library.  Each library takes on its own character.  So far mine has been kids only- no one takes the adult books.  But the cookbook was a hit.  Thank you, Helen!  So my daughter Jennifer Constantine sent over a few cookbooks.  We’ll see how it goes.

Congratulations to Linda Brown on her new Wendy’s Words Library!  Linda is the art teacher at Liberty High School and her library shows it – it’s a real beauty and is already being enjoyed by neighborhood children.  It is located at 9902 Carbondale Ct. Thank you, Linda!

Thank you to Pat Johnson and Linda Brown for their contributions towards the purchase of book plates for the library books.  We appreciate the donations!  We now have a supply of almost 5,000 that will tide us over for a while.  Every book in a Wendy’s Words Library has a book plate that looks like this reminding us of Wendy’s words to live by, a reminder of a way to pay it forward and make our world a better place.

A terrific thank you to Gail Summerford for the extremely generous donation towards the purchase of book plates for books in our Wendy’s Words Libraries. Gail is one of the three ladies who are stewards of the Bakersfield College Child Development Center Library of Distinction as awarded by Littlefreelibrary.org. 

Many thanks to Gigi Armendariz who dropped by Wendy Wayne Day at Jastro Park to donate a large box of children’s books to Wendy’s Words Libraries.  These were fantastic books – hardcover copies of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, some Boxcar Children, Magic Treehouse, and many, many more.  Gigi, thank you so much and thanks to her daughter, too.  The next set we get will be teen books as her grandchildren get older.

A big thank you to Stephanie Lynch for the donation of books!

There are now a total of 5 Wendy’s Words Libraries throughout Bakersfield

Arts for Healing volunteer Claudette Hunter’s Wendy’s Words Library is located at 4015 Scenic River Ln #213

Linda Sullinger’s library is located at 2417 22nd St. in downtown Bakersfield

The Bakersfield College Child Development Center has a library in the center located on the BC campus.

Susan Reep’s library is in front of her house at 5508 Via Ravenna

Pat Johnson’s library is located at 2809 English Oak

It’s ready:  The newest Wendy’s Word library is now open for business at the Bakersfield College Child Development Center.  Many thanks to Gail Summerford, Lenora Daniels, and Diane Sousa who have established this library as a parting gift upon their retirement.  
The Little Free Library organization has awarded them a special plaque and named this library a “Library of Distinction!”  Congratulations, ladies.

Coming Soon – A library at the Bakersfield College Child Development Center donated

by the management staff, Gail Summerford, Lenora Daniels and Diane Sousa, who will be retiring in June.  It will be placed in the courtyard near the memorial bench honoring their former director Mary Ann Albanes, who died in 2005.  The library is awaiting decoration and is almost ready to be installed.

A special thank you to Evelyn Kay for a very generous donation. 

Bakersfield Life magazine recently featured an article on Bakersfieldlife.com about Wendy’s Words Libraries.  Click here for the link.

Howard Unkrey, 89 and daughter Claudette Hunter, 68 built their Wendy’s Words Library from recycled materials. Total cost: $5.00

Borrowing Libraries open to honor Wendy Wayne on BAKERSFIELDnow.com. Click on the link below to see the video.


Check out this article in the Bakersfield Californian featuring the first Wendy’s Words Library:

First Library Honoring Wendy Wayne Opens


The first Wendy’s Words Library in Bakersfield is up and neighborhood children have been having a good time borrowing books. Tessa even left a “book report” in the library this morning on a book about Thanksgiving called How Many Days to America.  She told about how the boat went too close to a sand bar and people had to dive in the water.



Linda Sullenger is getting her library ready in the Westchester area, and Pat Johnson’s is almost ready in The Oaks.  We’d love to hear from others who are working on their own Wendy’s Words Libraries.





We owe a big THANK YOU to Dignity Health, Mercy and Memorial Hospitals for printing the book plates for our books.  We couldn’t have gotten started without their help.

More BIG THANKS go to Don Ambriz for the wonderful logo, which is loosely based on Wendy’s granddaughter Lola.


KGET-TV17 deserves a ROUND OF APPLAUSE for on-air mentions and letting us use their lobby as a book collection location, and Jim Johnson, John Hart and Mark Smith get CHEERS for doing the heavy lifting and Pat Johnson the sorting.

My son-in-law Steve Davies secured our websites and emails for us and gave technical advice to my daughter Karen Davies who put together this beautiful website.  I chose the template and of course I chose one that was difficult so Karen gets three cheers thrice multiplied!

More thanks to The Foundry who let me collect books at the opening of my show during the grand opening of their new space.

And to my grandchildren Sarah, Sophie, Daxton, and friend Cierra, who are used to getting pressed into service at a moment’s notice but are always good sports about it, I owe buckets of thanks.  You can see them in the banner at the top of the page wearing Wendy’s Words Libraries shirts giving up a Friday night because Gramser needed help.  If Ali hadn’t been away at college she’d have been there too.



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