Charity begins at Home: Start a “Little Library” in your neighborhood

Most of us are readers. We know our kids should read so we read to them we know we should have books around the house. However, books costs money and even some libraries are remote or require transportation to get to. So, what can you do to help?6645077_orig

For several years, I’ve been swapping my books out with someone who does the program at  bookcrossing.com – the Panera I frequent has a basket of books and I often borrow and swap out some I’ve finished with. It’s been really fun and and I’ve read a lot of interesting books this way. However, I’ve never been interested in tracking my books or passing them along (normally when I finish I just return them to where I got them).

However, just the other day I ran across a movement called “Tiny Libraries” which appeals to both the reader in me and my artistic side. These “tiny libraries” are sprouting up across the country, in small, sometimes impoverished neighborhoods as a way to swap and exchange books. People have had fun decorating their boxes and have gone to a lot of trouble to stock the boxes with fun books for a multitude of ages.

Little-Free-Library7In Colorado, these boxes have been spotted in many communities including Fort Collins, Chipita Park, Leadville, Florence, Colorado Springs and metro Denver . Read more quotes and stories here at the Canyon City daily record.

For the most part this movement started in a group called “Little Free Libraries”,  the originators of this social enterprise are Todd Bol and Rick Brooks, both of whom have several decades of entrepreneurial and international experience. Their website offers lots of advice on how to get started. If you don’t want to start one, they also suggest how to donate to help others.

Along with providing a service, these libraries can be artistic statements. They have instructions on the site on how to build your own – and many folks in the Canyon City Daily Record article suggested just going and getting a breadbox or something similar from the Goodwill.

I think this is a great idea for a family project. Where can you picture one in your neighborhood?

Photos courtesy of “Little Free Library” – for more pictures go here.

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2 comments

Mary Frances! I just took a photo in my girlfriend’s neighborhood of a lending library. I love the idea and hadn’t heard of it in this capacity. Our neighborhood association holds an event once per year in our event center but I really like the informality of the boxes on the sidewalk!

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