The Little Free Library project was started a few years ago in Wisconsin by a family to honor a family member had died. Since that time it has become a movement and spread world wide. According to the website, “Hundreds of small communities throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the other 48 states are without public libraries.” The site also mentions that Ghana has built many for use.
I think this is a pretty cool idea for several reasons. One is that coming from a rural farming community with an aging population in the outlying communities then I know it can be hard for them to get to the county seat and the library. If these were positioned in various places around the county then people with mobility issues, or other difficulties in getting to town, could find new books to read and pass on ones they think others may enjoy. Even in urban areas these libraries could be fun stops on a person’s daily walk,with or without the kids.
Another reason is that with unemployment so high then many people can’t purchase books. I borrow a vast quantity from the St. Paul Public Library but they don’t have all the titles I’m interested in reading. These little libraries could be possible sources for these books.
The libraries can also be used to meet and/or connect with others in your neighborhood and community. Sometimes these libraries are given themes like gardening, spirituality, family/children, literature, etc.
The website provides a lot of information on how to organize a library and ideas on building them. If you look at the site’s map of the libraries then each library has a picture of that location’s design, who the caretakers are, if there’s a theme, and if it was built to honour someone. To be on the map one needs to let the site know it’s available and the related information; for example, I know the map does not reflect one which is a half mile away from me.
If you or your organization make one and set it up, I’d love to see it and maybe visit! Happy reading and sharing!!