Little Free Libraries: Bringing Communities Together With Books

With over 60,000 locations across the country, Little Free Library has created an empire with the community in mind.

These “libraries” aren’t buildings, but small wooden boxes that are constructed by hand and later filled with books. Free for everyone without registration required, this book exchange idea is simple: Take a book and eventually return one. The book you return could be the same book you took or a totally different one.

Little Free Libraries are spread out all across the world and are registered in over 80 countries, all with a common goal. They aim to provide 24/7 access to all types of literature and bring people in the community together.

                     

Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, created the first little free library in 2009 as a tribute to his late mother, a teacher who loved to read. After putting it in front of his house, some neighbors and friends encouraged him to build more libraries and pass out books, which was the start of the empire.

Established on a volunteer basis, anyone can make a Little Free Library and register it. The “stewards,” people who operate and maintain the libraries, make them for many reasons.

About two years ago, Linda Kring learned of the little libraries at a public library in Corpus Christi, Texas, and was instantly intrigued. Linda set hers up in front of her home in Corpus because she wanted to add something to her community.

“It was a cool idea with a sincere background,” she said. “I thought about it a lot until I asked my husband to build me one for my birthday.”

Since the little library opened two years ago, Linda said that she’s heard some great reactions to it and has even received notes from kids and praise from her neighbors.

“It’s been a great experience and I’m happy I did it,” Linda said of her little library.

One of Linda’s favorite parts about her free little library is watching people pick out their books.

“I started this because I love the idea of community, and I love books,” she said, “This is such a cool way for both of those things to come together and do something kind.”

                     

For more information about Little Free Libraries visit littlefreelibrary.org, or click here to learn how to start your own little free library. And don’t forget to follow them on Instagram and Twitter!

All content used with permission of Little Free Library, LTD. Little Free Library® is a registered trademark of Little Free Library, LTD, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Mark Young

Mark Young, 19, is a journalism major at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is a GLAAD Campus Ambassador for his college, where he started an LGBTQ+ club called "Safe Space." He hopes to write about LGBTQ+ people in the intersections of topics like the media, sports and politics. In his free time, he is an avid tennis fan, book reader, binge watcher, and writer.

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