[wptabs] [wptabtitle]What Is a Little Free Library?[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

The Little Free Library Story

The Original Little Free Library (221x300)

To true bibliophiles, a library is a sacred temple of sorts, a place where the written word is revered in hushed tones.   Quietly, over the past few years new shrines have been popping up all over the world.  Known as Little Free Libraries, they number more than 4000 strong and are currently located on 5 continents.

The brainchild of Todd Bol, who erected the first little library to honor his school teacher mother in Hudson, Wisconsin – just east of the Twin Cities – the idea has spread quickly.  Each library is about the size of a doll house, with a roof and a large glass doorway, mounted at eye level on a wooden post.  Constructed by local woodworkers and often made of locally significant materials, each library is decorated and painted by its sponsors, giving each one a distinctive and unique appearance.   After an initial seeding with an assortment of donated books, each library waits for new visitors, 24 hours a day all year around, open for business.  Located in front yards, along sidewalks or bike trails, each official library sports an identifying tag as well as the LFL motto, “Take a Book, Return a Book”.

A visit to the LFL website (www.littlefreelibrary.org) provides a link that reveals the location of every registered library on the planet.  A quick glance at the map reveals libraries in every US state and Canadian province, more than a dozen in Europe as well as Haiti, Turkey, Ghana, India and Australia, there’s even a mobile library on a camper based in Austin, Texas.  A click on a specific library on the map provides a precise location, a few cute pictures, the names of the sponsoring individuals and may include a brief description of the inspiration behind the library’s construction.   You can also order a newly constructed library on the site or download plans to help you build your own.   After viewing many of the images on the site, I’m impressed by the ingenuity and passion that goes into the creation of these distinctive structures.

Every few weeks, I plan to make a trip to a different Little Free Library in my vicinity and beyond, where I’ll take and leave a book.  I’ll describe my adventures in bibliophilia here at Readers Lane and encourage fellow readers to find or erect libraries in their own neighborhoods.

— D. Driftless

image by Lisa Colon DeLay[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Little Free Library Adventures[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] [associated_posts] [/wptabcontent] [/wptabs]

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