I first read about Little Free Libraries in my local newspaper.
The first one was built in Wisconsin in 2009 by the son of a teacher. It was an enclosure with a glass door mounted on a post constructed to look like a one room schoolhouse. There are now more than 50,000 registered in the United States and even a few worldwide.
They are generally put in the front yard of a home and initially filled with books by the owner or steward. Then anyone can come by and take a book, and hopefully the same readers or others will also leave a book.
I love the idea of sharing a love of reading and books, and I also enjoy the various creative designs of the structures themselves.
The first one I came across was in a mall.
After Memorial Day, on my morning walk with my dog, I came across my first neighborhood little library.
There is a registration fee of $40 if you want your front yard library to be part of the official Little Free Library movement. The fee entitles you to a charter sign, number, and to have your library location included on a map on the nonprofit organization’s website.
The little library down the street from me is a neighborhood “secret” – no sign. I took one book, put three in, and was pleased to see my books were all quickly taken. I actually feel proud my picks are popular! The little two shelf container is very full; I think more people have put in books than taken them out. There is a good mix, including many children’s books.
My full size neighborhood library is about a mile away. Although close, it takes me about 20 minutes to get there on foot. I donate most of my books there. I used to keep more books after I read them, but yarn and fabric has cut down on my storage space, so I like to pass them on. My sewing and craft reference books are my keepers.
I also go a very low priced used bookstore and recently started reading books on a tablet. I resisted the e-book revolution for quite awhile, but now embrace it as another option. But there is no substitute for a physical book that doesn’t need to be charged and can easily be shared and passed on to others even decades later.
Do you have a little library near you or would you consider putting one up? Where do you get your books from and what do you do with them afterwards? Are you a reader of hard copy books or e-books?
For more information:
Libraries of Distinction – a Pinterest board with photos of the many creative Little Free Library structures