For book aficionados, sharing the love of reading comes second nature. How often do you recommend some of your favorite “reads” to your friends and family—passing books along, hoping others enjoy a certain tome as much as you did?
One family in Plymouth took that love of reading and sharing books one step farther. They installed a Little Free Library on a quiet residential street. (*The location of this secret gem is withheld so the library can be used only by the residents of this particular neighborhood.) Reminiscent of a delightful, oversize birdhouse on a stand, the Little Free Library is a global program in which people create mini libraries that require no library cards, only that people take books and leave books for others.
The Little Free Library organization’s goal is to create a “sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults and libraries around the world.” The success of the program has been astounding as Little Free Libraries are popping up in neighborhoods, commercial properties, government buildings, retail outlets, assisted living centers, schools, medical facilities, art centers and museums throughout the world.
The concept is simple: neighbors place books inside the weatherproof “library” that they want to share with others. They in turn can take any books that they are interested in. From children’s books to mysteries to historical nonfiction gems, the Little Free Library can hold a few dozen books for people to share. And share they do. This particular Little Free Library is a busy place, with neighbors—young and old alike—stopping to check out the contents of the library while walking, riding bikes or coming home from a day at the office. Books come and go, so the selection is always fresh and new and usually has something for everyone. —Maura Keller
Interested in installing a Little Free Library in your neighborhood? Visit littlefreelibrary.org to learn more about this literary movement.
Installing a Little Free Library is as easy as building a weatherproof box. The only official step you need to take is to register your neighborhood library with the Little Free Library organization, which tracks the libraries as they pop up throughout the world.