Saturday, May 19, 2012

Libraries on your Front Lawn

In an age where eBooks are quickly catching up to traditional print books it’s good to know there are ordinary citizens who are making it possible to share books free of charge.

Libraries across the country are feeling the effects of the poor economy like everyone else. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, some libraries have even been forced to close their doors. And, in some cases, several closings have occurred in a single city. All of this is leaving many American cities and towns with no satisfactory way of borrowing books. That’s where the Little Free Library comes in.

The concept is simple. Participants are encouraged to build and maintain mini-libraries on their own front lawn. All that’s needed is a weather proof, box-style compartment on a secure post structure to safely store books. Using recycled materials is also a great idea. Old mailboxes, dresser drawers and even phone booths have been used to create little libraries.

According to the Little Free Library website, “If this were just about providing free books on a shelf, the whole idea might disappear after a few months. There is something about the Little Library itself that people seem to know carries a lot more meaning. Maybe they know that this isn't just a matter of advertising or distributing products. The unique, personal touch seems to matter, as does the understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books. Leaving notes or bookmarks, having one-of-a-kind artwork on the Library or constantly re-stocking it with different and interesting books can make all the difference.

What a wonderful way to promote literacy and build a better sense of community. I encourage everyone to consider building their own little free library.

For more information, visit the Little Free Library website. There are little library structure plans available on the site that are extremely helpful in getting you started.

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