Thursday, October 22, 2015

Little Free Libraries

There are wonderful creations sprouting up all over my town.  Beautiful, unique cabinets called Little Free Libraries.  The idea is simple. You build a library and leave books there.  People are encouraged to take books and leave books.  It's a great way to keep everyone reading for free.

But what's especially wonderful, in my opinion, is how people design and decorate their libraries. Some of them are works of art.  Others are just very unique and creative.  I took a drive around my neighborhood and photographed a few to share with you.

Let's start with the basic model.  Colorful and welcoming, it's like a cottage for books. And at the top it has the same directions found on all little libraries. Take a book, leave a book.

 And here's another one, built with bamboo.  A Little Tiki Library.

This one has a magazine rack on the bottom.  It's very cute, but you'd have to remember to take the magazines out before it rains.

When I stopped by this library I had the chance to chat with the owner, who was reading a book in a chair next to his library. I made this photo larger so you can read the signs underneath.  They add a very fun touch, pointing the way to the ocean on one side, and his house on the other. 
He made one library and it became so popular that he made a second for overflow.  He shelves all the children's and young adult books in the smaller library, so he decorated the sides with dinosaur stencils to show that it was for kids.  His main library has solar powered lights that come on at night so people can see the titles after dark.  And he added weather stripping to make sure the books stay dry in the rain.  He even created a homemade, aluminum foil reflector to send more sunlight to his solar battery, because his library is in the shade of palm and cypress trees.

This tiny library is truly a work of art.  At first look, I was struck by the mosaic roof, and the vintage bottle caps decorating the door.
Then I checked out the sides of the library and they are so sweet. One has a collection of miniature bottles, pots and pans and tiny gears.  The other side is equally wonderful, featuring a tiny artist's palette and brushes, a miniature painting on an easel and a finished painting of a bee.  

Even my son's school has built a Little Free Library. It's a great way to share children's books.

If you are interested in building a Little Free Library, there is a website, littlefreelibrary.org, dedicated to them.  It has all kinds of information.  You can even register your library to make it official and add it to a map of little libraries all over the world.  And I'm sure you can use the map to locate a Little Free Library near you. 

As much as I enjoy looking at the libraries, I haven't used one yet, I have too many books stacked by my bed waiting to be read.  But once I finish the next one, I will drop it off at one of my local libraries. And I'd love to hear if you have any Little Free Libraries in your area, and if you've ever made use of one. Thanks for joining me today!

12 comments:

holdenj said...

A friend in Illinois just had one done! I don't see them very often in my neck of the woods, but the ones I've seen are always so creative!

dstoutholcomb said...

adorable

Nan Dixon said...

We do have them here in Minnesota. There are 2 within a mile of me. And one of my chapter mates has her own. I keep forgetting to grab one of my books and add it to either of the libraries I drive by all the time. I love all your pictures!

Christina Britton said...

I absolutely love these little free libraries. There's one I pass almost every day during my walk, and I almost always peek inside, sometimes finding a real gem.

Kristina Knight said...

I don't have any pictures but we've got 3 in our area that bebe and I hit every few months...she drops off kid books, I drop off whatever I've got handy.

Mary Preston said...

It's a lovely idea. There is nothing like this around here.

Kaelee said...

I've only seen one and I did take a book. It was outside an antique store in Milk River Alberta. The owner had build it after his wife died in her memory. He urged me to take a book.
She loved to read Harlequin Romances and this was his way of passing on her books. He said he had given away over six hundred books and had a way to go yet. He had a stamp that he used in the front of each book saying a lot of this. It was quite large. Four shelves high and at least six feet wide.




Claire McEwen said...

Aren't they amazing? I feel so lucky to live in a neighborhood that has really embraced them. I also have a neighbor who posts poems in his yard, really great poems, and it's one of my favorite stops when I walk my dog. Kaelee that story is amazing. How sweet that he passed on her books that way! Thank you for your comments, everyone!!

Jackie Wisherd said...

There is a free library in my quilting classroom. It has a variety of books for reading as well as some instruction booklets. I have found some really good books to read there. But I have never seen any free libraries like the ones you have pictured...could it be more of a suburban thing? Or in more rural areas ? Big cities do not seem to have them.

JanetLee said...

This is such a great idea! I have an old wooden hutch that I was going to have to get rid of during the downsizing. Maybe I can find a spot for it and make it a library!

Claire McEwen said...

Hi Jackie, That's so neat that they had one in the classroom. Maybe the libraries are more common in smaller towns. My town is officially called a city, but it definitely has a small town feeling to it and it has a lot of artists and creative types, who are the ones making these pretty libraries, I think!

Dana Grimaldi said...

What a lovely idea. Thanks for sharing!!

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