Then you will love the tiny library phenomenon that has probably already hit your neighborhood. You just have to know where to look.
I was amazed to find that, with the addition of my library last week, even our little mountain community of Munds Park has a total of 5 Little Free Libraries.
These adorable tiny libraries are part of a larger social movement that started in 2009, when Tod Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a birdhouse-like replica of a one-room schoolhouse and mounted it in his front yard, as a tribute to his mother, who was a teacher. He filled the little box with free books, and a sign that said, “Take a book, leave a book.”
The movement caught on. A registered non-profit since 2012, Little Free Library now boasts more than 80,000 wee branches in 91 countries.
It’s easy to create a tiny library. Simply build (or upcycle) a water-tight structure, place it in a publicly accessible location on your property (if near a road, make sure there is a safe place to pull off the road and get out. Add some books you’d like to re home, and wait for your readers to arrive. To ensure the library is always stocked, a “take a book, leave a book” honor system should be posted on the box.
If starting from scratch isn’t your thing, Little Free Library models are available for order, including a 100% recycled wood and plastic model with a quaint pitched roof.
There are plenty of library custodians who go above and beyond to make their tiny pop-up libraries stand out. After all, these structures aren’t just about education –they’re also about community and the arts.
Rather than rip out the rest, the company came up with Adopt a Kiosk program in 2009. Communities were offered the chance to buy one of the iconic red telephone boxes for 1 pound and encouraged to turn them into spaces that local residents would actually use.
The scheme has been a great success, and more than 1,500 of the boxes have been converted to grocery stores, wildlife information centers, tea rooms, art galleries, defibrillator points and—you guessed it---tiny libraries.
The popularity of the iconic red box quickly moved across the pond. Free Little Library offers a version of the mini British Phone Booth library for sale.
Here are some of my other favorite designs to inspire you.
We hope you grab a book that speaks to you and get lost in the simple magic of reading."
Be proud of your perversity! Into the front yard you go!