I was walking with my husband and one-year-old through our neighbourhood a few days ago, when we went down a street I had not taken before. Knowing how much I love reading and books, my husband pointed this out to me:
I immediately ran up to it and looked through the titles – obviously. However, I did not take a book since I didn’t have a book with me to leave in return.
Then I got to thinking about it, and decided what an awesome idea! It reminded me of the “take a book, leave a book” shelves that you can find in most youth hostels for backpackers.
Setting one of these up allows neighbours quick, easy, and FREE access if they need a new read, and offers an option closer to their home than the public library to those with limited mobility. I would like on my property; however, based on my location it is doubtful the City would allow such a construction.
Finding this little jewel near me made me wonder if there were others. A quick Google search directed me to Little Free Library. A non-profit organization, Little Free Library supports anyone who wishes to set-up one of these small community libraries! They have a blog and provide all the information necessary for setting up your own Little Free Library. As for the structure itself – you can either build your own or purchase a prefabricated option from their online catalog. If you build your own, you can register with them and your Little Free Library will show up on their map online! This registration is automatic for the pre-fabricated options.
When you register your Little Free Library, you also receive a Steward’s Packet: including a Steward’s Guide full of tips and outreach tools; eligibility for new books donated by publishers for the cost of shipping and handling only; access to brand new, deeply discounted books through First Book for registered stewards in low-income areas; a How Does This Library Work? flier to post on your Little Library; monthly E-newsletter; access to a private Facebook group to swap ideas and connect with other stewards (information from www.littlefreelibrary.org).
The organization is based in Hudson, Wisconsin, and as of January 2014 (most recent stat I could find) they have assisted in creating over 15,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide.
Although the Little Free Library near me is not registered with this group, I wanted to make sure bring attention to this organization and the great work they do in promoting literacy and love of reading for all ages!