11 July 2022
A small wooden door decorated with miniature trees, shells, and a birdbath. To the right, the soil in a planted pot is decorated with minature beach chairs and a sandcastle.

Libraries are magical places. In fact, the Vespasian Warner Public Library District in Clinton, Illinois is truly enchanted. In 2018, former maintenance supervisor, David Ward, noticed that a fairy door had appeared on the children’s floor. Two more doors were discovered shortly after on the library’s main floor and in the periodicals room.

The fairies are named Morgan, Echo, and Weatherby. No one has ever seen them because they are very shy and prefer to play at night when the library building is empty. Instead, they communicate with the circulation staff through notes. Staff at the Vespasian Warner Library are thrilled to host the fairies and have found several benefits to their residency.

The library fairies also love to decorate their homes each season with items like tiny evergreen trees, fall pumpkins, and spring rabbits. They’ve even joined in to participate in library events like Summer Reading. For example, the door on the main floor is currently decorated with beach chairs, a sandcastle, and tiny reading records to match the Summer Reading: Oceans of Possibilities theme. Staff often snap photos of the décor and share it on social media which increases general library awareness and engagement with programs.

The fairy doors quickly became a destination for families to see each time they visit the library. Recently, children discovered that they can also leave letters and drawings for the fairies and sometimes they write back. This is a great way for kids to work on their literacy skills without even realizing it.

Finally, the fairies were generous and shared instructions for patrons to create their own enchanted fairy doors and decorations. Library staff used the instructions to host a fairy door workshop earlier this spring. A few months later, patrons returned to create a miniature campfire scene completed with log seats, roasting sticks, and s’mores.

Interested in getting started with your own fairy door? While some doors suddenly appear, many books suggest that a fairy will move in if a library door, house, or landscape is created.

Learn more at the Vespasian Warner Public Library District Fairies:

Anchor Podcast: Click Here

Library Blog: Click Here

Today's guest blog post is by Samantha Rusk, Vespasian Warner Public Library Distirct.