Thursday, October 13, 2011

Little Free Libraries

This is the type of story that should take up a much larger percentage of media space (leaving a bit less news hole for over-represented violence and horse-race politics).

A guy from Stillwater, Minn., named Todd Bol started building miniature libraries. They look a bit like an extra-large bird house, but they hold books instead of nests.

Woman looking into wooden house with books inside it
(Star Tribune photo by Richard Tsong-Taatarii)

It's a completely decentralized happening -- both the building of the libraries and the way books just show up to fill them. While the nonprofit organization started by Bol builds the boxes and then distributes them to neighborhoods that sponsor them, it also shares the plans so anyone can make one.

The books are there on a "take one, leave one" basis. I wonder if there's one in my neighborhood? There are definitely a few books around here I would put in.


Linda Myers said...

What a great idea!

Michael Leddy said...

In the same spirit, my English Department has a bookcase where we leave books and magazines for students to take. The only problem: when a bookbuyer (buying examination copies of textbooks) comes through and clears out the shelves.

Daughter Number Three said...

A little, hard-scrabble coffee shop in the small town I'm from has a shelf like that, Michael. I think the thing that fascinates me about the Little Free Libraries is that they're free-standing and out in the environment, which makes them seem more like a random act of kindness.

Carmella said...

These are adorable! What a great way to keep books alive.

I wish there were also Little Free Treat Dispensers out in the world. There is a house I pass that has a free dog poo bags dispenser strapped to their boulevard tree...but that is more like passing out dental floss.