‘Read more, because it’s amazing’: Young girl leading charge to bring a library to Yamhill

A young girl in Yamhill wants to get more kids excited about reading, and she has some big plans for her small town.
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 6:16 AM PDT
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YAMHILL, Ore. (KPTV) - A young girl in Yamhill wants to get more kids excited about reading, and she has some big plans for her small town.

It seems Madeline Weber has never met a book she didn’t like.

“Ralph the Mouse, Emily’s Runaway Imagination, and oh, Ramona! I’ve read all of the series,” she said.

Weber is such an avid reader that the 9-year-old Yamhill spitfire created her own website, “Madeline’s Library,” complete with her many book reviews.

Of course, for someone who loves reading so much, there’s no place better than a public library.

“You could just walk to a library and then you could just get a good book, I mean that’s awesome. That’s awesome. Who wouldn’t want that?” asked Weber.

There’s just one problem. Yamhill’s closest libraries are nearly a half hour away in Newberg or McMinnville. So Weber, her mom and her grandfather built a physical version of Madeline’s Library, located right in the heart of her hometown.

“The top shelf, you can take a book and keep it. The bottom shelf, you borrow it and bring it back,” Weber explained.

Her selections are for any kid who loves to read - and because she loves the character so much, you find a lot of books about Ramona Quimby.

“She’s really funny and sometimes she gets into trouble,” she said.

Ramona is the creation of legendary children’s author, Beverly Cleary. She is well known as a Portland native, with a school named after her and a famous statue of Ramona. Before the Rose City, when she was Weber’s age, Cleary actually lived in a historic Yamhill home, just a few blocks from Madeline’s Library.

Weber and Cleary share a lot more than a hometown. When Cleary was 8 years old, she and her mom campaigned to have a library built in Yamhill.

The Cleary’s convinced the community to create a library on the top floor of the Yamhill Bank building that was built in 1910. Cleary’s library is long gone, but now Weber is leading the charge to bring a library back to Yamhill.

The Yamhill Downtown Association wants to make it happen, and they are exploring options.

“We’ve done some research on getting a library here and historic buildings are not locations for a literal libraries, but we could have maybe a historical reading room,” said Amy Brewer with the Yamhill Downtown Association, “but we would love a library somewhere, someday, sometime.”

To spread the word and get people to visit the town, Yamhill will host a special public event this weekend, complete with a Beverly Cleary walking tour where you learn about the town’s history with Cleary’s iconic characters at every stop.

“Ice cream, amazingness, Beverly Cleary, and books,” said Weber.

A new library is still a distant goal and really just one more way for Weber to reach her fellow kids and convince them to put down their screens and pick up a book.

“Read more, because it’s amazing,” she said.

A statement and sentiment that sounds “Just Like Beverly.”

“‘Children should learn that reading is a pleasure and not just something that teachers make you do in school.’ Very wise,” Weber said reading a quote by Cleary.