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Draper Journal

Draper mom encourages reading by opening a Little Free Library

Oct 02, 2019 02:53PM ● By Stephanie Yrungaray

Draper’s third Little Free Library is stocked and open to the public. (Photo courtesy Stephanie Fowler)

By Stephanie Yrungaray | [email protected]

A love of books plus a labor of love combined to create a Little Free Library in Draper. 

Draper resident and avid reader Stephanie Fowler first saw a neighborhood library exchange box on national television and knew she had to have one. 

“I’ve been talking about wanting one for three or four years,” said Fowler. “This past Mother’s Day I told my husband, ‘This is the only thing I want.’” 

While some neighborhoods might have their own versions of free book exchanges, Little Free Libraries have been registered on a website and are included on a nationwide map at The Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that gives inspiration and instruction on how to facilitate a free book exchange location in your neighborhood. 

The Fowler’s library is the third registered in Draper; there are over 90,000 Little Free Libraries across the United States.

Fowler’s husband, John, and their two sons, Braden and Carson, worked for months in their spare time to build Stephanie’s library box. 

“Stephanie has an absolute love of reading and she tries to impart that to me as well as our boys,” John said. “I have a love of woodworking and realized this project could be a fun little thing to do.” 

John, an engineer and businessman by trade, designed the house to resemble their family home and engineered it to keep out the inevitable Utah rain and snow. 

“To me, figuring out how to keep it waterproof was the most challenging part of the engineering,” John said. “We did a design around the door to keep the water out. It hasn’t gone through a winter yet but I’m hopeful things got sealed properly. It was an enjoyable challenge for me.” 

From left to right, Stephanie Fowler, Braden Fowler, Carson Fowler, Stephanie’s mother, and Trisha Lowery at the Little Free Library ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Photo courtesy Stephanie Fowler)


On Sept. 2, the Fowlers held their own ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Stephanie’s long-awaited Little Free Library. Housed inside were 20 different books for passersby to take or trade for. 

“I put some books in — both adult and kid’s books,” said Stephanie. “As my kids are outgrowing books I will keep adding new ones to the box.” 

People are encouraged to take books, donate books, and can choose to return the books they’ve read to the same Little Free Library or possibly another location. 

Stephanie said she enjoys peeking in the box to see if books have been exchanged. 

“It’s so exciting,” she said. “The other day I saw there were two new books in there.”

Draper City Councilmember Tasha Lowery came to the informal ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Fowler family. 

“As a reading specialist I think it’s absolutely phenomenal,” Lowery said. “As a resident, I think it is inspirational, and as a parent, I think it’s a great way to encourage our children to have a love of reading.” 

Fowler said she hopes people out and about near their box at 13132 Levoy Circle in Draper will stop by and take a peek. 

“I love the community aspect of sharing books,” said Stephanie. “Reading means a lot to me. I love the joy of sharing good books and stories, and I’m trying to bring more of that to our community.” 

“We love to see residents getting involved and doing creative and neat things for the community,” Lowery said. “Draper is such a special place because of people like the Fowlers — people who go above and beyond to give back and participate and make Draper amazing for all of us.”