When I first saw a magazine story a few years ago about Little Free Libraries, before I read it, I jumped ahead to look at the photos. Yes, it was true. For the most part, they were no bigger than an apple crate. (With a roof!) The cutest things you’d ever seen. Maybe I’m just partial to tiny things. Like I would take a hobbit house over a palace any day of the week. But that’s me. What would be so appealing about a little library? Isn’t bigger better?
No. Of course not. Not when it comes to books. Because even a library with just one book is a magic carpet ride into a whole new world. A WHOLE NEW WORLD! That, my friend, is gigantic. One book can change your mood, your perspective, your life. That ain’t small.
So when I found out that my very own town had a Little Free Library, I had to check it out. I took a walk (with a book of my own to contribute) and found this beautiful library. It was made (by the owner) to look to look like a miniature version of the owners’ house. There was a shelf for adult books and a shelf for children’s books, and a little sign that said Take a Book, Leave a Book. On the ground next to the library, there was a box to collect jeans for a nearby shelter and colored chalk drawings and messages left on the sidewalk by young patrons. This compact structure filled with books was a veritable modern day water-cooler. Lots of community happened around this hobbit-house of a library.
When I later spoke to the owner, Sara Liptack, I asked her if anything surprising had happened since she open its doors. She said, “The incredible support from the community. We have many regulars that keep our stash rotating, and we often get the community involved in do-good events (like a coat drive, school supplies drive, and currently a jeans drive).” Sara also wrote to two children’s book publishers and they have completely stocked the kids shelf with brand new books.