Riddle Me This: What’s bigger than a breadbox, smaller than a phone booth, and great as all outdoors? Inedible yet can satisfy any appetite? Can’t move but will take you anywhere? Sits in plain sight hiding untold treasure?
Answer: A Little Free Library, of course!
I’ve been a fan of the Little Free Library movement since I first stumbled upon it. What’s not to love about cute places to find free books?
Just six years ago, a guy in Wisconsin built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mom, a former school teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it. He built several more and gave them away…
Fast forward to today, and there are over 32,000 registered Little Free Libraries around the world. I love that. I love that a great little idea caught hold and went like wildfire around the globe. Would that all little ideas should have the same fate.
So, I hooked my wagon to the Little Free Library star, and this week we launched.
Working with a local affordable housing group, we put our own little library on their property, on a busy street, and started talking it up. Before we even opened, donated books started to appear in the library. Neighbors I didn’t know emailed me to ask how they could help. The school crossing guard handed out promotional stickers at the corner. It was a thing before it was anything.
Have I mentioned that I love that?
And then, when we finally, officially opened, this happened:
We had crowds of kids and their appreciative parents. And neighbors. And passersby. And we stood around, together. We stood around together, eating gummy bookworms, sharing favorite book stories, reminiscing about the children’s titles as they floated by in the happy arms of their new owners. We stood around together clutching our own new-to-us books, bright with promise. We stood together already anticipating the pleasure of being back for more.
Little Free Library = Big Unleashed Community.
I love that.