“If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.” ~ Frank Zappa
Recently a friend of mine reminded me of the Little Free Libraries. Lauren is building her first house and wants to create one of these libraries as part of that project.
Little Free Libraries are a community movement in the United States and worldwide that offers free books housed in small containers to members of the local community. They are also referred to as community book exchanges, book trading posts, pop-up libraries, and Noox (Neighbourhood bOOk eXchange), amongst other terms. ~ Wikipedia
In the beginning—2009–Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it. He built several more and gave them away. Each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS.
Rick Brooks of Madison, whom he met at a seminar on promoting green practices and a vibrant local economy for Hudson, entered the picture as a colleague exploring potential social enterprises. The two saw opportunities to achieve a wide variety of goals for the common good.
They were inspired by many different ideas:
- Andrew Carnegie’s support of 2,509 free public libraries around the turn of the 19th to 20th century.
- The heroic achievements of Miss Lutie Stearns, a librarian who brought books to nearly 1400 locations in Wisconsin through “traveling little libraries” between 1895 and 1914.
- “Take a book, leave a book” collections in coffee shops and public spaces.
- Neighborhood kiosks, TimeBanking and community gift-sharing networks
- Grassroots empowerment movements in Sri Lanka, India and other countries worldwide.
Looking on the LFL map below, there are NO little free libraries in my neighborhood. Way cool.
Then there was the battle of the Little Free Libraries. :0)
If you are interested in building your own Little Free Library check out the Neighborhood Library Builders Guild on Facebook. You can design yours to be based on something you love like music, a TV show, a movie or whatever. Check out this one designed to look like a Tardis.
Now comes the fun. What motif do I want to adopt? I will be getting books from my Dad who has a library at his house and he needs to downsize. A sample plan is located here.
More to follow …