If only there were some way to better connect with busy neighbors, pick up interesting books for free, build a fun DIY project with the family, and instill a love and respect for reading in your kids…
Most of us have tried book swaps before, or have enjoyed finding a free book left on a coffee shop table. Perhaps we’ve left a few books ourselves. Sharing books, whether it’s the latest best-selling fiction, a classic we first enjoyed in high school, or a cute board book for the kids, is a natural inclination.
Little Free Libraries has taken that natural desire and structured it in a way that promotes community within neighborhoods. The premise is simple. Someone buys or builds the small book enclosure, registers it with the official website so people know it exists, places a few books in it to get things started, then watches as people stop by to take the books they want while replacing those books with ones to share. When families are involved, the books taken and left behind are for all ages.
I had never heard of Little Free Libraries until my neighbor Sarah Townsend installed one in her yard this summer. She posted about it on our neighborhood Facebook page, and people began flocking to it. I was so intrigued by this awesome new thing in my very own neighborhood that I asked Sarah to fill me in on all the details.
She told me the project was fairly inexpensive because the Little Free Library website posts building plans that encourage green building by upcycling materials. Most of the needed supplies were quickly gathered from her own and a helpful neighbor’s garage. Her neighbor’s family was able to build the project in a weekend.
She also shared about how she has met dozens of neighbors in the short time the library has been active. Her daughter has even started introducing herself at the neighborhood park by saying “Hi, I have a library in my yard.” People are excited to stop by to pick up and leave books. This little library has created a big buzz in our community!
To find out more information, visit the Little Free Library website. Everything you could possibly want to know about this organization and directions for setting up a small library in your own front yard can be found there. Even if you decide not to create your own library, there is a map that shows the location of every registered Little Free Library around Dallas, the country, even the world. There may already be one close by that is just waiting for the books you would like to share…and ready to offer the treasure of a FREE, fabulous book to take home.