Friday, February 22, 2013

You Can Have Your Own Little Free Library

Custom Made Library from Little Free Library
I have long been convinced that avid readers, real book lovers, are among the most generous people in the world.  They defy the stereotypical "book worm" image that many non-readers hang on them - and they do it with real style.

This is just the latest example (click on "Readers" in my Labels List on the sidebar for many more): the Pelton family of Greenville, South Carolina.  This Greenville Online link has pictures (that might tempt some of you into doing something similar in your town) and all the details.
The Peltons are one of several families in the Greenville area that are part of the Little Free Library program started in 2009 by two men in Wisconsin. It has spread to cities in every state in the country and to other countries as well.
...Accumulate scrap lumber. Build a box. The official ones are 20 inches wide, 20 inches deep and 28 inches tall. Fill it with books. Watch people flock.
“It’s been a fun way to get to know our neighbors,” Pelton said.
They used material from their home renovation, including cabinet doors for the sides and tin for the roof. Pelton makes wind chimes out of silverware, so she affixed some utensils to the sides. They included a small blue spiral-bound notebook for people to write messages.
Soon, a conversation began. “I read dolphin and shark books,” one child wrote. Pelton responded: “Coming soon.” “I like books. Love, Ellie.” Neighbors have gushed about the idea.

Custom Made Library from Little Free Library
And the rest is history.  Can you imagine the fun of having one of these little free library boxes in a spot that you pass by each day as you get on with the rest of your life?  Or how the library "owner" must smile every time another book walks away with its new temporary owner?

Yes, I'm convinced: book people are very special people.

Want to know more about the Little Free Library project?  This is the official link to that program, and I think it will surprise you.  You can get plans there for building your own "box" or can even order a pre-assembled one.  

The project's mission statement says it all, though:
  • To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide. 
  • To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity, and wisdom across generations
  • To build more than 2,510 libraries around the world - more than Andrew Carnegie--and then more.  
Come on, you know you want to.


  1. Love this idea! We are thinking of moving our swap books into one right outside the library and painting it school colors!

  2. Great idea, Maggie. Anything to get books into the hands of readers, especially new ones, is a great thing.

  3. My daughter lives in Portland OR (we're in the suburbs), and I recently had the joy of watching her take my 5 YO grandson to a LFL on her block to pick a couple out. He was thrilled! (And it was an adorable sight) Yes, book people are indeed special people, and we are raising another generation of them here in our family.

  4. Susan, what a great story! You know, I don't think there's a book person out there that doesn't hope to pass that love on to succeeding generations. Congrats on getting it done in your family.