Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

Little Free Library

You’re out with the kids on a stroll through the neighborhood.  You come across a kind of quirky box.  Bigger than a mailbox, but not in your way.  It might be decorated like a little barn.  Or covered in peace symbols.  You think, “Oh, that would be cute to post to Instagram…if I could just remember my login.”  But you look closer.  You see that the box is filled with books.  Books for you to borrow and return or swap out at your own leisure.  You check around to make sure you aren’t doing something wrong.  Because it ::has:: to be wrong to stumble upon such treasure.  But then you look closer at the box.  You’ve realized what you have stumbled upon.

The Little Free Library.

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I randomly found out about these wonders one day online.  I saw a picture of a big red robot.  Filled with books.  The tag said “Houston” and I knew that I would drive all across this city to find it.  {Remember, I love it when people talk nerdy with me??}  Turns out there are a network of generous neighbors, probably very close to you, that host LFL’s in their yard.  And they get sustained by the neighborhood, and it is phenomenal.

his door was out for repair but he is back to 100% now

Glen P’s LFL :: His door was out for repair, but he is back to 100% now.

In order to understand a little more about these treasures, I reached out to some of the curators to see how they got into being basically the best neighbors ever.

 

:: Jac B :: A friend of mine who knows me really well sent me a link to www.littlefreelibrary.org and said, “This sounds like you.” Fifteen minutes later, I had ordered our Little Free Library. We had a big unveiling ceremony in our neighborhood. It helps that we live in Eastwood, which is such a warm, involved, partying neighborhood. Lots of neighbors came over, even though we gave only a few hours notice. That was in April 2013. I had no idea how many books would be taken. Right away, that very day, people took books. By the end of the first week, I started seeing that kids’ books were as popular as the other books. By September, we installed a second library, just for kid books. It’s next to the other library, but shorter so kids can reach it. With two different libraries, I can offer a greater variety of books to both kids and adults.  {Go visit their LFL’s Facebook page!}

:: Claire L :: I am an elementary school librarian and left my job to take care of my mother. When I read about LFL, I thought it was a great idea and would still keep me in touch with books. I was also looking for a way to bring some feeling of community to our neighborhood. We are small and quiet back here.  I want people to share my love of books, meet their neighbors, and have some fun with the idea.

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Do you see why I’m so excited to tell y’all about these wonderful people?!  They are all about the community.  I asked what was needed to keep the LFL going.

:: Janet B :: To take books to read…and to tell their friends about our Little Free Library.

:: Claire L :: I need the neighborhood to participate more. We send out emails and put it in the newsletter, but business is slow. Need quality donations.

:: Heide L :: The little free library is pretty low key.  I think the more people that take a book and share it, bring their favorite books, and leave comments will make the collection more dynamic.

And speaking of favorite books, you might find some of the curator’s favorites in their LFLs.  {Although it’s so hard to pick a favorite!}

:: Claire L :: The Velveteen Rabbit or To Kill A Mockingbird

:: Jac B :: My favorite book is always the one I am currently reading.

:: Jim M :: D-Day by Stephen Ambrose

:: Heide L ::  I guess I could best and most honestly reply – who are my favorite authors?  That would be Terry Prattchet, Lois Bujold, and PG Wodehouse.  Of course, I also enjoy Janet Evanovich, Jasper Fforde, and our local author John Moore.  So many books, so little time!

:: Janet B :: A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

Please please please go out and visit these wonderful Little Free Libraries near you.  Take a book, leave a book, leave a few, get some for the kids, share and share alike!

How? Here’s some Resources!

Sally H’s LFL Facebook page

Litlle Free Library – info on how to get one started and chartered! Here’s a little screenshot of the map from the LFL site.

LFL map

Hooray for all the awesome! Celebrate the end of Library Week by taking a little drive around and visiting your local Little Free Library.  Grab some wood and make one of your own! Have you seen any around town? What books would you fill yours with?

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4 Responses to Little Free Library

  1. griselda April 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Thanks so much for this piece. My daughter and I visited 5 yesterday and exchanged some books. In some cases donated chapter books since they did not have young reader books. We love the concept of promoting literacy and creating neighborhoods instead of neighbors.

    • Bre
      Bre April 20, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

      Griselda, you have no idea how happy this makes me. I’m so glad you got to get out and find some books!!! And super super awesome for bringing your daughter along.

  2. Melissa H April 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    I love this! There is one in the neighborhood next to mine! I’m going to check it out & drop off a few books. What a fantastic concept.

  3. Frannyo November 21, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    We have one, in Westbury near Meyerland. 5102 Stillbrooke. We have a second-grader and the neighborhood is FULL of kids, so it’s mostly childrens’ books coming and going. On a nice weekend, we might get 8-10 kids a day. Come check it out, leave a book, and take a book!

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