Little Free Libraries are tiny, house-shaped bookshares that have been popping up all over! The miniature outdoor cupboards look like quaint schoolhouses and, quite appropriately, they offer up all kinds of reading materials for people in surrounding communities to enjoy. Originally started in Wisconsin, the give a book/take a book movement even has a DIY kit available so booklovers can erect their own lil' libraries in their towns.
Little Free Library enthusiasts are encouraged to build their own designs, or they can easily follow instructions for the classic Little Free Library kit on the group’s website. The website also gives clear directions for mounting the libraries on posts so that they are protected and accessible to eager neighborhood readers. If starting from scratch isn’t your thing, Little Free Library models are available for order, including a 100% recycled wood and plastic model with a quaint pitched roof. Other models include a rustic Amish shed and a cabin made from reclaimed barn wood, an outdoor cabinet made from upcycled fruit crates, and even a mini British Phone Booth Library!
Once installed, the libraries can be registered on the Little Free Library site, and will be added to their interactive map, so community members can locate their closest hutch for borrowing books.
Community members are encouraged to donate their old books, and to take one for themselves – and then repeat the exchange process so that all of the residents’ books are shared. Many Little Free Libraries take on themes, such as History In a Box, We’re Cookin’ Now, Good Reading for Gardeners, and Books Make us Smile. Each curated library encourages people to get excited about reading, and activates the communities in which they are built.