I’d like to give a shout out to Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization with the aim of promoting literacy and a love of reading. Their “little free libraries” are essentially free book exchanges that are set up near the edge of a yard for community use. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty snazzy.
To get a better idea of how they look, simply picture a mailbox, but large enough to hold a small amount of books. Let’s say twenty, as an example. Of course, they need to be weatherproof to better protect the books from the environment. Aside from that, they tend to be (but don’t have to be) visually appealing. Soooo they can be built with a plain or an extravagant style depending on how creative the owner is. Aside from that, people just walk right on up and browse the books inside. Ideally, they leave a book of their own so that there’s not only a constant library, but a constantly changing library as well. But, it’s not necessary. Just good etiquette.
Back in 2009, Tod Bol built the first little free library as a tribute to his mother, who was a school teacher. It looked like a tiny red schoolhouse and he put it at the edge of his yard. Neighbors liked it so much that he built more throughout the community. In comes another man named Rick Brooks who was inspired by Tod’s idea. Together the two began Little Free Library. The actual name, “Little Free Library” was established in 2010, and they saw rapid growth.
There are now over eighty thousand Little Free Libraries in over ninety-plus countries. That is ridiculously impressive considering it hasn’t even been ten years since the first. If you’d like your own (like I do!), you can purchase a mini library straight through them. That, or you can build your own. If you build your own, simply register it on their website to get things going.
Personally, I’m impressed and inspired by what Little Free Library aims to do and what they’ve already done. If you’re a supporter of literacy, love libraries, and want to bring a bit of goodwill to your community, then I implore you to check them out.