Little Free Library: Books Beneath the Willow

Little Free Library Campbell

Little Free Library Campbell

Several times in the past few months, I’ve passed what looked like a tiny, curbside library.  I’d heard about these little libraries somewhere, but it was just a vague idea, tucked away in my brain.  I had never actually seen one and assumed they were ‘somewhere else.’  Do you know that place too?

Well guess what?  We have one right here in our neighborhood.  I’m hooked!  I finally took the time to stop the car to show my sister, then went back later with my husband, a couple of books and my camera.  It was so much fun!

Here is what I’ve since learned about the movement:

It started as a simple tribute to his mother, a teacher and bibliophile. Todd Bol put up a miniature version of a one-room schoolhouse on a post outside his home in this western Wisconsin city, filled it with books and invited his neighbors to borrow them.

They loved it, and began dropping by so often that his lawn became a gathering spot. Then a friend in Madison put out some similar boxes and got the same reaction. More home-crafted libraries began popping up around Wisconsin’s capital.

Three years later, the whimsical boxes are a global sensation. They number in the thousands and have spread to at least 36 countries, in a testimonial to the power of a good idea, the simple allure of a book and the wildfire of the internet.   You can read more at  the Source: Open Salon

Little Free Library and a bench

Browsing the selection on a nearby bench at the Little Free Library in Campbell

little free library collage

Little Free Library registration, the long view, art among the books, and how the library works

The charming Little Free Library pictured above is in Campbell, California. We’re so smitten that we plan to build one of our own.  I started pinning ideas on Pinterest over the weekend. The designs are as varied as books, all delightfully unique and inviting.

The idea of a Little Free Library appeals to my love of gardens, books and community. I plan to involve my boys in some way, either helping their dad build it or coming up with an initial book offering.  I can’t wait to get going.

Have you heard of the Little Free Library movement?  Do you have one in your neighborhood?

Pinned it!

Check out some of these beautiful library designs on Pinterest and let me know your favorite.  I bet you can guess mine. As it turns out, they have their own page, too (thanks Betsy!)