New “Little Library” Installed on the Village Green

Members of the Village Green Board Cindy Kirven (left) and Sari Marti (center) gave Marney Sobel permission to install a “Little Library on the Village Green. Also pictured are Sobel’s husband Max Abadian and Marti’s child.

Marney Sobel, a long-time educator, moved to the Palisades about five years ago with her husband and three children.

The Village Green located in the center of the town seemed to be the perfect place for a “Little Library.”

She sketched one and found a kind and competent wood maker on Etsy, named James Wall. “I gave him my design, and he built it for me,” she said. This little library may be unique in the Palisades because Sobel designed it with solar panels.

“MARNEY’S Free Little Library lights up at night, making it accessible and inviting at all hours,” Sobel said.

The Canadian native took her idea to the Village Green Board for the free library and it was approved.

Cindy Kirven, who is president of the board said, “the installation is a means of enhancing the Village Green community experience in a new way. Especially with summer vacation just around the corner, what could be more enjoyable than sitting in the park with a good book?”

Sobel wrote, “My husband and some friends helped me put up our new library. Cindy Kirven and Sara Marti and her sweet little girl joined in the event. The point is for people in our community to take a book and feel free to donate a book.”

She was a teacher in Canada for more than 20 years, but when her children were little (they’re now 19, 18 and 12), she elected to stay at home with them.

“I started reading to them the minute they were born,” Sobel said, noting her boys loved the Froggy, Brady Brady, and Who Is series.

“My daughter loved Fancy Nancy, and Amelia Bedelia,” Sobel said. “I still have my Dr. Seuss collection from when I was a child and my kids always loved that as well.”

Her husband Max Abadian is a fashion and celebrity photographer who was frequently travelled to LA, so the family decided to make the move permanent.

Sobel said that in her last four years in Canada, she was teaching at an all-girls private French School. Once she was in Pacific Palisades, she missed being in a classroom. “When Covid hit, I decided to run book clubs in my backyard as an enriching activity, off screens and Zooms” Sobel said. “Word got out very quickly and that is how MARNEY’S began.

Sobel runs after school activities daily that include book clubs, crafts, yoga, tutoring, enrichment, next-grade readiness, baking, TK lunch bunch, and a babysitter club (with the help of Pali ades High School ambitious and kind students), but “reading is always involved in one way or another.”

What started as an enrichment after school “home” for kids has grown. Sobel’s team now has an early childhood specialist Penny Milne, Australia who moved here only three years ago with her husband and three boys (19, 17, 14 years) and tech support from Renie Simone, who was raised in England.

“The new age of technology, smart phones, social media has taken over, and although it is our reality, it makes me sad,” Sobel said. “We must get back to the basics. We must get lost in a book and promote literacy again.”

And Sobel, is just getting started “I am hoping to set up our next library in the Caruso Village,” she said. Visit: www.marneys.us.

Marney Sobel by the “Little Library” she designed.

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2 Responses to New “Little Library” Installed on the Village Green

  1. Judi Freed says:

    What a lovely idea. I am assuming this is the add one – take one model. Thank you to Marney Sobel and her family. Little library’s are delightful.

  2. M says:

    There was a “free library” on Monument before Caruso redeveloped the area. It was very popular. I personally use these “birdhouse libraries” (my name for them) all the time.
    Thank you for putting one up on the Village Green….

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