This week's library highlight is the Little Free Library. While not technically a special library, it's an interesting movement and the boxes are fairly adorable. Little Free Library is a movement that started in Wisconsin with a mission to promote literacy and build a sense of community. The Little Free Library is just what the name implies, it's a box with books placed in a publicly accessible area offered for free. People can take a book, replace a book, or add books to the collection. It's an effort to promote reading, share literature, and bring a community together. The movement has picked up momentum in areas, and was recently featured in an article in the Los Angeles Times.
This concept of sharing books in free libraries is not new. Many hostels and businesses catering to travelers around the world have free book shelves. You can pick up a new book to take with you while replacing it with the book you brought with you from your last destination if you choose. There are sites such as BookCrossing which encourage travelers to send their books off into the wilds with a label, which can then be tracked online much like the Where's George project. While BookCrossing considers itself the world's library, Little Free Library is a book sharing effort a little closer to home.
The Little Free Library concept creates special libraries that are community driven and creative in content as well as in structure. You can buy a Little Free Library to put up in your yard, or really get into it by building your own. Check out the FAQ page for answers to questions about damage to the little free library, or placement on public property. I like the answer to, 'what if people steal the books?' You can't steal something that's free. The boxes available on the website are a little pricey, but very cute. If you would like more information about starting a Little Free Library, you can use the contact form on the Little Free Library website.
You could also read more about the movement in this article from the Valpariso, Indiana community news website, or USA Today. Here are a few pictures of the Little Free Libraries taken from the Little Free Library website. I love the red call box.