You may have noticed the photo in the sidebar of “My Little Free Library” and wondered what the heck it is. If you’ve never heard of Little Free Library, check out littlefreelibrary.org, where you can get the lowdown on a very cool idea that is turning into a movement around the world. In a nutshell, Little Free Libraries are community book sharing depots. Most of them can be found in people’s yards, but they can also be found on public property in some areas. Little Free Library is a non-profit organization whose aim is to promote literacy and a love of books for people of all ages, from all walks of life, around the world. Similar book sharing boxes not affiliated with the official Little Free Library organization are also scattered here and there, and are just as cool.
I had never heard of a Little Free Library until last spring when a friend of mine on Facebook in another state happened to post something on FB about her Little Free Library. I was intrigued, then enthralled. I honestly thought it was the most brilliant idea I had stumbled across in a long time. I had to have one, being a book lover, chronic book buyer, and serial book sharer anyway. So I ordered one of my own Little Free Libraries from the official LFL org, and waited all summer for it to arrive (if you’re handy, you can, of course, build your own, or you can buy a kit, or an assembled but unfinished library, or a fully assembled, finished, and painted one like I did, not being handy or patient – the latter is not cheap, I must say, but the craftsmanship is top of the line). It took nine weeks to get mine, and when it arrived, I swear it was the most exciting thing to get since my last baby.
My husband spent a weekend installing it in front of our house, and it’s now been up since August I think. I had been saving all the books I read over the summer to fill it with, and although right away people in the neighborhood would stop to check it out, it seemed to take a little while for people to actually get comfortable taking books from it, and even longer to start leaving books of their own in it. These days, it seems to get quite a bit of use; although I don’t always see people visiting it, there are books taken and new books left pretty frequently.
A couple of weeks ago, a reporter from our local newspaper contacted me and said she was doing an article about Little Free Libraries, and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed. Yes! So she came over with a photographer the following morning and spent the better part of an hour talking to me and my girls about our LFL, about books, and taking photos. It was a lot of fun. The article appeared on the front page of last Friday’s paper. Here’s the online version: OC Register: Take a Book, Leave a Book