Back in August, my husband decided to surprise me with a unique birthday gift. He bought me a Little Free Library, which is a box that you place on your front lawn where you can share books with your community. Community members can take a book, leave a book, and the cycle repeats itself. There were definitely some challenges to this project of course, such as worrying about vandalism, city by-laws, and if the neighbors would even enjoy it.
There is variety of styles that exist for Little Free Library’s, and they can be made uniquely your own depending on design and paint. We opted for a pre-built one as neither of us is particularly crafty in terms of woodwork. Then we also needed to select an outdoor paint that could take a beating, but still make the library look appealing and eye-catching. Then if you have an official LFL you also need to register it with the organization (mostly so you can use the name). In the set my husband purchased, we were also given a bunch of children’s books to fill our library with. It was exciting to see what items they sent us — since August, a lot of those books are already gone!
This has been an amazing community project to work on and I couldn’t have done it without the help and patience of my husband. It’s great to see my neighbors using the LFL! They have left me notes, commented on how much they love it as a fixture in our neighborhood. It feels so rewarding, and I always get excited to see what kinds of new items community members put into it.
Part of why I wanted to get a Little Free Library comes from the fact that I am not a Librarian by trade, but rather a proud Library Technician. Working in libraries has been a huge part of my life and I’ve been a long time advocate for reading, and I am active in my province’s association, wherein I write pieces focusing on how we can handle Reader’s Advisory for Teens. My husband and I are also huge readers, and this project gave us a huge sense of accomplishment. It also taught us a lot about our neighbors’ reading habits and their interest in literacy as well.
Would you make a Little Free Library? Or have you seen any nice looking ones in your neighborhood? I’d love to know in the comments.