If you love to read as much as I do, you need one of these in your yard!

I read several books a week, so I’m on a first-name basis with my local librarians and I own several bookshelves of library books from supporting their sales.

Now, you can sell old books to a second-hand store, donate them to a nursing home, or give them to your library for their next sale. But what if you want to promote reading in your neighborhood?

That’s where Little Free Libraries comes in…

What Are They?

Little Free Libraries are weatherproof boxes with a plexiglass door designed to protect books housed within. They can be as simple or elaborate, you can build or buy one for your yard, and then fill it with whatever books you want to share with your neighbors.

The first Little Free Library was created in 2009 by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin as a memorial to his late mother’s life-long love of books — it was a miniature one-room schoolhouse located in his front yard.

Encouraged by the enthusiastic response from his neighbors, Todd took his mission worldwide. He partnered with Rick Brooks, a community outreach specialist, and together they’ve built more libraries than Andrew Carnegie! Little Free Libraries is now established in Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Ghana, and Australia, and other countries.

Even the indie band Foster the People is on the bandwagon — their philanthropic initiative Foster the Future recently sponsored a work-day where volunteers built Little Free Libraries for the community.

Meeting The Neighbors

In a world where interaction is increasingly digital, where most of us don’t even know our neighbors (much less speak to them), this movement is as much about building community as increasing literacy. “I met more neighbors in the first three weeks,” says Little Free Library steward Jonathan Beggs, “than in the previous 30 years.” Isn’t that something that we should all aim for? I look forward to building my own and can’t wait to see which of my books will find a new home first.

A Garden Library?

If you look at ones people have made on the website!, they’re a fantastic garden accent. I have every intention of building one and putting it at the end of my perennial bed when I have some spare time. I also liked the idea of building theme ones, like a garden one, and decorating it that way then fill it with gardening books and seed catalogs, etc. to share.

Want to learn more?
Check out the site at littlefreelibrary.org!