Little Free Library: a pleasant surprise

Little Free Libraries have been popping up all over the area. The concept is an enclosed bookcase mounted indoors or outdoors on private or public property. Inside the bookcase, which can range from anything as small as a mailbox to a small cabinet to an actual camper, are books that are donated. The library does not have to remain stationary, either. Many have taken their libraries on the road and shared the idea as well as shared reading with others.

As one book is selected for reading, another book is put in its place. It’s entirely free to frequent a Little Free Library in your neighborhood, and their website, littlefreelibrary.org even has a map showing exactly where you can find one in your hometown. Just visit littlefreelibrary.org and click on maps, followed by the desired zip code. A map will pop up with a list of the local libraries in your area with an address.

This program was founded in 2009 and is a non-profit organization. It was started in hopes of promoting neighborhood book exchanges, and today, there are more than 90,000 Little Free Libraries registered with the organization. So far, Scottsboro has three, and you can find them at: Universe of Stories/Charter #119720; The Bennetts @Bellefonte/Charter #124543; Annabelle’s Purple Library/Charter #116716.

If you’re interested in starting your own Little Free Library, visit their website and peruse the many instructional/informational videos and links they have available, including plenty of FAQs. They have information on how to start one, how to site and get permission for your library, how the libraries work, how to raise funds to start one, how to spread the word and build support, and even how to handle vandalism if it happens.

There are also ideas on what you can use to act as your library. Some have used a mini-fridge, microwave, bread box, camping oven, etc. As long as it is enclosed, sturdy, safe. falls within the library guidelines and provides the books protection from the elements, pretty much anything in this range can be considered for a library. No matter where you live, there will always be an antique store or flea market nearby, filled with items that can be used. And the best part? Anyone can do this project and benefit their community in the process.

by Martha Smith

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