Friday, August 9, 2013

Little Free Libraries Make Neighborhoods Special



When my boys were in grade school, a trip to the library was a weekly event. They would stock up on books that piqued their interests or were favorite authors. Goosebumps and Henry and Mudge books were favorites. Sometimes, if the books were extremely interesting, the pages would be turned so fast, the books were read cover to cover before getting home. We didn’t always have time to make a second trip during the week so the options were to reread the library book or read something from their own bookshelf. Not reading for a week was not an option in our home but because we live in a home on Anoka County acreage, it wasn’t like the library was just down the street either.

That is why the concept of a Little Free Library was so intriguing to me. It is an outdoor bookshelf built and maintained by someone who loves books in your very own neighborhood.  It is a “take a book, leave a book” concept. Each library contains a few dozen books for people of all ages. In an era of Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers, I was amazed to discover there are over 5000 registered little libraries around the world (check the Google Map for locations and GPS coordinates) as well as an estimated 1000+ unregistered. 

I recently drove past one of these cute Little Free Libraries. I was making a u-turn at the end of the block after leaving a new listing in Plymouth. The library was a few steps in from the curb, in the center of a flower garden and decorated with a garden gnome theme. It is adorable, well kept and no doubt, well used by the neighborhood residents.

If you want to make your neighborhood just a little more special, consider putting one of these adorable bookshelves in your yard or community. The Little Free Library website has dozens of ideas, samples, photos and instructions so you can easily become part of this grassroots community that wants to inspire kids and adults to read.



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