Little Free Library: Books for Everyone

Little Free Library

The base of the library is ready for plants

The Little Free Library is a hit.  The outpouring of support makes my heart sing.  I received a number of emails from neighbors and friends promising books and offering support.  Several of my friends shared my blog post on Facebook.  I’m planning a dedication ceremony as well so stay tuned for details.

I received the following email from a dear friend:

I just adore you new free book library and wanted to add four of my favorite mystery authors. I have these paperback books coming straight to you from Amazon. Please add in honor of our friendship and my aunt Vicki who as you know was a reading specialist. Believe it or not, it was 5 years ago in December we lost her. I miss her as much today as then but she is always in my heart/thoughts and she would be so proud of her great-nephew. Jackson won the school award for reading the most books last year. Kristi

Wow!  In addition to being a great friend, Kristi got me hooked on two fun authors, Sue Grafton (great mysteries) and Janet Evanovich (the laugh out loud adventures of a bounty hunter in New Jersey).

New this week:

One for the Money

A is For Alibi

No Nest for the Wicket

Keepsake Crimes

Once the library was official, I found myself scrutinizing everyone who walked by.  Would they stop?  Would they look? Would they take a book?  It didn’t take long for a few of the children’s books to move.  One afternoon a woman pulled into my driveway  (picture me trying hard not to stare) and her son got out and collected a book.  Mortified, my teenage son begged me not to stare or worse, take a picture.  Who me????  Of course I would never take a photo of someone without permission, but it was exciting to watch it unfold (the book borrowing,  not my son’s angst).  I remember my teenage years.  So many things embarrassed me so I make an extra effort to stay aware of his emotional discomfort.

Ways to get involved

One of the questions last week was: Is there an effort to see these in some of the poorer areas?

Yes!  There are a number of initiatives in the works to spread the love of reading worldwide, especially in low-income and impoverished areas. Here are a few:

Africa: Send a beautifully designed Little Free Library and more than $1,000 worth of books to Africa! Your contribution supports construction, decoration, registration, signage and enough books to help an entire village in need.

Small Towns: A small town or neighborhood near you may not have a public library of its own. One Little Free Library can bring the joy of reading to children, older adults or a whole community. Your donation will help build, deliver, install and stock one or more Little Libraries with quality books.

India: Our nonprofit partner in India is already at work using beautiful books and Little Free Libraries to inspire poor kids to stay in school and learn to earn a living. Children who thought it wasn’t even possible to dream of attending school will have the chance to learn language, geography, science, math, health and business skills. Each $500 sponsors a Library and hundreds of books that can last for at least three years. For both donors and receivers, this program can transform lives.

Minneapolis Public Schools: As many as 100 Little Free Libraries will be installed by and for neighborhood kids in a new program created with Minneapolis Public Schools. More than 20 have already been committed. The goal is to interest children who have not yet learned the pleasure and value of books. Thousands of books have been offered by Coffee House Press, Reach a Child and others. Each Library starts with more than $500 of books.

You can read details about the above initiatives and more at Little Free Library.Org

back of the library

Back of the library, reclaimed fencing

31 thoughts on “Little Free Library: Books for Everyone

    • Thanks so much, Will. I’m having such a good time with it. It’s exciting to read about the movement and to see libraries popping up around the world. I’m delighted when a neighbor stops by and peeks inside.

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  1. Haha, I can imagine your son’s face looked a little like my son’s when I inadvertently embarrassed him in a ladies wear shop once! 😉
    I love Sue Grafton, I’m up to P is for Peril!

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  2. I love the idea of this little free library! I wonder if I could get my city to put one up? We have a park right across the street from us and that might be a perfect place for it. If I can find the pdf, I will send you the library card pocket so you can attach to each of your books in your library!

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  3. Oh Alys, that’s so exciting. Happy to hear it’s off and running. I think children’s books will go well. We went through so many when my kids were little that the libraries had a hard time keeping up with them. I ordered so many from the Jr. Scholastic magazines for them then we donated them by wagon loads to the school library. Both kids still devour reading material. I have read every Janet Evanovich book written and several of the Sue Grafton. I’m a non-fiction reader mostly but love light reading. The idea of putting a dedication in the books from your donor is a wonderful idea. There is so much to absorb here. I also click on the literacy site when I do my daily visit to the Animal rescue site. That donates books by sponsors. It’s a way to give if you don’t have a lot of funds. Yay books!

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    • Good afternoon, Marlene.

      All the children’s’ books from last week or gone, so I’m adding a new stack today. Exciting stuff! I miss those Scholastic order forms coming home in backpacks. The prices were amazing and the selection always broad and varied.

      Thanks for the tip on the literacy site fundraiser. I love that.

      Yes, Evanovich and Grafton are excellent light reading. I’m glad to hear you are also a fan.

      I may contact one of our former teachers (or Scholastic themselves) to see about book promotions. I’ll let you know what I find out.

      We’ve given away many books as well, but now that the word is out, neighbors are adding books. I love the community around this idea. It’s been so much fun.

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          • There were so few children’s books at the thrift store yesterday, it was kind of sad. Library sales I never seem to catch. I need to get out more. Right now I’m reading non-fiction again. Nothing fun. I read a lot about self healing and spiritual growth. Working on A Course in Miracles. Hard concepts to grasp for me.

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  4. How fun to have a parade of young readers to spy from your patio 😀 I laughed at your conversation with M (I assume). Hey at least he’s out sitting with you, that’s a good sign 😀 I’ve actually heard of both those novelists but have yet to read their books. Our power was out this morning and it was dark and I couldn’t even use my computer. I thought, this would be a good time to read a book but my darn flash light was low on battery too. I’m taking three on vacation and plan to power thru them.

    How very nice (and smart) of your friend to order books and have them directly sent to your address. While didn’t I think of that? We still order so little on line here, you all south of the boarder are way ahead of me on that one. I guess I’ve only had internet for two years, LOL. Baby steps.

    Gardening in your front yard has taken on a whole new demeanour, you can pretty up your yard and socialize with neighbours and book hounds all at the same time :D, have fun xoK

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  5. I am vicariously running a little free library thanks to you 🙂 All information is being stored away for the day it will be possible for me to get one going……… And oh dear, I just found out I was NOT meant to embarrass my teenage children? Ooops 🙂

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    • LOL! Too late for both of us. Sometimes just being a mum is embarrassing enough. This too shall pass.

      I’m really glad you are considering a LFL. I’m pretty sure the idea is contagious in the most wonderful way.

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  6. Love it, love it, love it! I wonder whether I could get away with putting one of these up near our Alexandria home? Our HOA is extremely strict; maybe I’d better consider doing one elsewhere OR just supporting someone else’s at one of the links you provided. Great job, Alys!

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  7. Pingback: Little Free Library: Books and Maps | Gardening Nirvana

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