April 22, 2015

Little Free Library

April 22, 2015 {112/365} Little Free Library

A couple years ago, I remember listening to a program on NPR about Little Free Libraries. I loved the idea of “'take a book, return a book' gathering places where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories." (littlefreelibrary.org). The official website outlines five steps to building and maintaining a Little Free Library:

  1. First decide where you can legally and safely install the Library. The location should also have a lot of foot traffic and be highly visible to anyone nearby. Then identify at least 1 person to be the steward; this person regularly checks the Library to be sure it is stocked, clean and inviting. He/She also promotes the Library on an ongoing basis.
  2. You can build your own Library, find someone locally to build one for you, or purchase a Library through our online catalog. [Here is a great Pinterest board with photos of Little Free Libraries around the country.
  3. Have an official charter sign and charter number on each Library to receive all the benefits of being a member of the worldwide LFL network. Take lots of photos and Register on the World Map so that anyone can easily find your Library.
  4. Get your community involved! Contact the local paper, radio and TV stations. The more people who know about your Library and support it, the better.
  5. Once you have installed your Library, be sure to hold a Grand Opening Ceremony and invite all of your friends and neighbors to kick off the Library in style. Have a ribbon cutting, provide snacks and exchange books. 

I was driving through Oconomowoc on Tuesday, after picking up Piper at Grandma's house, when I spotted my first Little Free Library on the lawn of the Episcopal Church on Fowler Lake. Of course, I had to stop for a closer look. This Little Free Library is painted to resemble the church with its red doors, shutters, and stained-glass windows.  Inside, there were Little Golden Books, a copy of Ethan Frome, a Time-Life book about American heroes, along with several more books to be shared. I didn't take a book, but I'll be sure to leave one now and then. I absolutely love this idea -- the books, the architecture, and the spirit of community! Now I'm on a mission to visit as many as I can.