Did you ever play librarian as a kid? My sister and I would set up our books, due date cards, and even date stamps. Well, now I’m all grown up with kids of my own, and I’ve decided to take it up again. I’m very excited.
This is a Little Free Library, and they are springing up all over the world.
Here’s the premise:
- Open the box.
- Take a look through the collection inside. (Loitering encouraged!)
- Take anything you like. Keep it if you like. Return it, put it in another LFL or give it to someone else if you prefer.
- Donate other books to the little free library when you like.
- Please don’t throw books you hate in there just to get rid of them. (Tolkein is welcome, James Joyce – not so much)
- If you see copies of your favourite books at a used book sale, pick them up and pop them in.
- Invite friends and visitors to participate as well.
- This box belongs to everyone and has books for both children and adults.
So, it’s not so much a library really, as a book exchange. There are no due dates, you can keep the books if you like, it is open 24 hours a day, and I promise not to shush you.
The concept is based on building two things: Literacy and Community. In our culture, we hesitate to even step on another person’s property. We have built such strong, impermeable walls, that we shut out the neighbours. Since I believe in neighbourhoods, and building connections, this helps to break that barrier. The boxes also send the message: in this community we value books, we value literacy, we value the spreading of knowledge through the written word. They’re also an ice breaker. They start conversations.
If you happen to see a Little Library somewhere, please stop and take a look. I know it feels strange at first, but I guarantee that’s what the owners want you to do. I just zoomed in on one of the photos I just took and noticed something new sitting in there. Awesome!!
(Later added: So, that turned out to be advertising, but there was ALSO a new book. Please spread the word: Little Libraries are NOT places to put advertising. Not cool, random lawn care company, not cool.)
I will be officially registering this library with this site later today. (I just needed to get some good photos first). http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/
At this site you can find a map of all registered little libraries. There is probably one near you!
A kit for this box was provided by: http://www.llkw.ca. Little Libraries of KW is an organization that puts together kits and “backyard build” days to get more community members involved. The rest of the design and construction credit goes to my husband. Thank you Paul for putting in all the time and energy to make this happen!!