Happy National Library Week — the annual celebration, led by the American Library Association, of all things library! This week, in honor of Library Week, we’ll feature a series of library- and book-related posts.
Today, the Unconsumption spotlight is on Little Free Libraries: community book exchanges — located in places like your neighbor’s front yard, and on college campuses and in hospitals — where library cards aren’t needed. The libraries’ basic concept is: “Take a book. Leave a book.”
Most of the “libraries,” which hold 20-30 donated books, are made from reclaimed materials. Each library, which has an official caretaker who builds and maintains it, is registered by the Little Free Library (LFL) project, with its location noted on the LFL Web site. So far, more than 200 little libraries have opened in 34 states and 17 countries.
The libraries not only provide a way for people to pass along books they no longer want, they also help foster a sense of community. In this NPR story on the Little Free Library project, a library user says: “there are all of these nice, little serendipitous connections that happen with your neighbors.” A library caretaker mentioned meeting, via her free library, neighbors who live a block away — neighbors she hadn’t met previously.
Through the non-profit project, LFL co-founders Todd Bol and Rick Brooks aim to promote literacy and love of reading; they also hope that more people (you, perhaps?) will contact them about opening free little libraries in their own communities!