Little Free Libraries Are Coming to Town

| 9/1/2011 3:54:23 PM

Little Free Library 1Andrew Carnegie built an impressive 2,509 libraries around the turn of the 20th century. Now Rick Brooks and Todd Bol are on a mission to top his total with their two-foot by two-foot Little Free Libraries, reports Michael Kelley in Library Journal. 

The diminutive, birdhouse-like libraries, which Brooks and Bol began installing in Hudson and Madison, Wisconsin, in 2009, are typically made of wood and Plexiglas and are designed to hold about 20 books for community members to borrow and enjoy. Offerings include anything from Russian novels and gardening guides to French cookbooks and Dr. Seuss.  

Each Little Free Library runs on the honor system, displaying a sign that asks patrons to Take a Book, Leave a Book. “Everybody asks, ‘Aren’t they going to steal the books?’” Brooks told Kelley. “But you can’t steal a free book.”  

Fifty libraries have been built so far, with 30 more underway and plans to expand into Chicago, Long Island, and elsewhere. Brooks and Bol have a long way to go to reach their goal of 2,510 libraries, but they’re digging the ride. “At a personal, human level, it’s very thrilling how it excites people,” Bol shared with Kelley. “But on a larger plane, it’s such a nice spark for literacy, art, and community all at once.”

Check out (so to speak) the gallery of charming Little Free Libraries below and visit the organization’s website to learn how you can bring one to your hometown. 

Little Free Library 2 

津 姮
1/29/2012 7:55:20 PM

Lucille Bocks
9/12/2011 11:06:48 AM

Beautiful welcoming sign of humanity. My first experience of learning after becoming a parent sixty years ago was at our Mobile Library that came near my home. Thanks to the person who came up with this idea of Little Library in a box.

9/12/2011 7:50:05 AM

I love this design! What a great idea, and the BookCrossing ( site should be incorporated into these libraries...

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