The gradual making of a library lover

Libraries are what inspired the first Attic Journals. After years of loving, volunteering & working in libraries, we now work in partnership with libraries nationwide to rescue their discards & make them into new, unique goods that bring joy to book lovers all around the globe.

Cherry Park Library, Portland, OR

From the second to the sixth grade, our founder, Michelle was a Cherry Park Charger. Raised by a mom who had a voracious appetite for reading, the library was a natural habitat where she enjoyed spending her recesses.

But it was in the 5th grade when she was first allowed to volunteer in the library that she was first exposed to the very best part… hearing the “ka-thunk” of the check out stamp as kids were eagerly checking out their books to take home.

She absolutely fell in love.

Midland Library, Portland, OR

In high school each Wednesday afternoon, after basketball, soccer, or softball practice, Michelle would walk over to the Midland branch of Portland’s Multnomah County library system and help out with “Weeding Wednesday”.

It was in this capacity that she was exposed to the discard plight of well loved books… the ones with torn pages or dinged corners… the ones that little kids enthusiastically scribbled or a busy adult accidentally spilled coffee on.

And she started to save as many as she could.

Whitworth Library, Spokane, WA

What started as a volunteer gig in elementary school became Michelle’s work study job at college. Sitting at the front desk simultaneously studying and helping students was a 3 nights a week affair for her all throughout her college experience.

Her work study position also afforded her extra time to research & fall further in love with the books she was exposed to with her English degree.

Her favorite bookish classes: Southern Renaissance Writers & an intensive on Caldecott & Newberry award winners.

During her college years, Michelle would rescue books from the dumpster & then trudge with the boxes thru the snow to store them under her dorm room bed.

Libraries, Nationwide

And now, all these years later, we still love libraries. We’ve spent hours upon hours working with them to coordinate saving their discards from the dumpster, but spent just as many hours enjoying their programs, lounging in their reading nooks, & exposing our kids to their wonder.

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Coupville Library in Washington. Their children’s book area is the perfect spot to spend a day with your small one. Plus, the field next door is where the town’s weekly farmer’s market is hosted.

  • New York Public Library’s main branch will always hold a special place in our hearts. Highlights being the Rose Main Reading Room and the original dolls of Winnie The Pooh.

  • Our neighborhood library… right down the street here in Portland, Oregon. The Holgate Branch is like our second home.