Find free books to borrow and share at your local Little Free Library
Do you know your local Little Free Library?
The Little Free Library is the largest library network in the world with over 50,000 libraries participating. The mission of the Little Free Library is to be “change masters with heart” – supporting access to free books in neighborhoods all over the world. The Little Free Library’s goal is to build community, spark creativity, and inspire readers.
I met founder Todd Bol at the LA Times Festival of Books in April, 2017 where he shared the Little Free Library story.
Started in 2009 in his hometown of Hudson, Wisconsin, Todd wanted to come up with a way to honor his mother, a former teacher and lifelong reader. The idea he came up with was to put a bookshelf in his front yard, filling it with books that his mother read and loved, and allow his neighbors to borrow these free books.
This first Little Free Library became so popular, that the next year, Todd began exploring ways how to grow his idea. Today, Todd’s original grass-roots concept has expanded around the globe. Todd shared that his biggest supporters are librarians, teachers, and the Girl Scouts.
Each month, Todd said that he receives over 2,000 requests for new Little Free Libraries. These “Stewards” – caretakers who build, install, stock, and tend to the Libraries – apply to place their own Little Free Library in their yard or sidewalk or in other nearby locations like hospital waiting rooms or parks. Their purpose is always the same: to encourage passersbys to stop and browse, find free books they are interested in reading and take the free books home. Patrons are also invited to return free books to the Library for others to enjoy.
I found the Little Free Library in my area a couple of years ago. It is about 4 miles from my home. The steward is Kristi, a young mother and avid reader who says she is “so excited when I find people just as excited as me!” about her Little Free Library.
The first of the many free books I have borrowed from my local Little Free Library was Wild- From lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.
I had been wanting to read that book for a while but it was always checked out from the city library. I was so excited to find this free book on the shelf and took it home to read. What a great choice; the book was everything I hoped I would find. Since I am not one to read a book more than once, when I returned Wild to the Little Free Library, I also brought a few of my past favorite books to donate. This is what gives constant variety to the collections.Take a book, return a book-the key to #LitFreeLibrary. Participate in #community #creativity #inspire… Click To Tweet
I was also excited to find another Little Free Library in an empty lot next door to the Wright Brothers Museum in Dayton, Ohio. Are you looking for your next best book to read? I highly recommend checking out your local Little Free Library to find free books to enjoy. And don’t forget to return a favorite book, adding your mark to the Little Free Library’s collection.
To learn more about the Little Free Library, please visit their website.