- Associated Press - Saturday, August 16, 2014

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) - Jim Schmadeke started watching “Doctor Who” when the British television series began in the early 1960s, more than a decade before he moved to North Platte in 1976 to start his family.

He had been thinking about making a TARDIS - the alien main character’s time traveling spaceship - for a while with some old storm doors he had saved. Last month, he placed the shiny blue imitation 1960s London Police call box in front of his home on Boyd Avenue, The North Platte Telegraph reported (http://bit.ly/1kySzgC ).

It’s a free library, one of three in North Platte, said Cecelia Lawrence, public library director. The others are located at the homes of Claudette Wielechowski, 2620 Lynn Court, and Elizabeth Kurz, 421 S. Walnut. The concept is simple - you take a book and leave a book.

“You can go into a different world,” Schmadeke said. “Just pick up a book.”

He said his plan was to leave the free library out for a few weeks and then move it to his backyard to serve as a plant nursery. But since he’s seen so much enthusiasm and interest generated from the TARDIS, Schmadeke said he might put that off.

He’s had “Whovians” of all ages stop by and share stories.

One couple said they hadn’t seen their son in months, but he stopped to see them soon after they told him about Schmadeke’s TARDIS.

Schmadeke said one day he looked out his window after hearing laughter in his front yard. There was a young girl dancing and laughing around the library.

Another time, he saw a teenage boy zoom by on a bicycle, stop at the TARDIS and exclaim, “That’s awesome!” Then the boy zoomed away again.

“It’s surprising how many people have stopped by,” Schmadeke said.

He said the project only took him about a week to build and paint. The idea first came up on a trip with his grandson to Key West, Florida, a few years back.

Schmadeke said he has been building benches for family members from repurposed headboards. He put off the TARDIS project for a while to construct those.

He has enjoyed getting to see the reactions to the library.

Some of his own family, who live near Norfolk, came to visit to see it. They brought copies of “Doctor Who” comic books that help explain the premise of the show. Photocopies of the comic covers are tacked on the inside of the library for curious people.

For those interested in learning more about “Doctor Who,” the North Platte Public Library has several available resources.

The complete series is also available on Netflix.

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Information from: The North Platte Telegraph, http://www.nptelegraph.com

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