in partnership
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The littlest libraries around! (Image: Gretchen Bossio / Seattle Refined)

Is There a Little Free Library Near You? Probably!

I knew nothing about the organization, Little Free Library, until I stumbled upon one of their mini libraries.

We were driving down a farm road and to my left I saw a chalkboard sign that read, “Take a book, enjoy a book, share a book” positioned next to a mailbox looking house full of books. Naturally, I pulled over for a closer look.

It was marked “Little Free Library” and it was the cutest thing! It had a windowed door in front and two shelves full of novels, self-help books, cookbooks, children’s stories, and more. Its’ mission was simple - take a book to enjoy and leave another in its place. My kids were thrilled! What a find! We actually had a few books in the car and they were anxious to swap, so, we hopped to it! My toddler chose Grandfather Buffalo and my big kids opted for a Magic Treehouse book. I snagged Sisterhood Everlasting.

Our roadside stop led me to Google “Little Free Library” and I learned that the little library we had found was one of many. In fact, there are now over 75,000 libraries in 88 countries around the world. Which means, there is most likely one near you. Have you seen a Little Free Library? Do you love this concept as much as I do?

If you haven’t seen one yet, a simple search on the Little Free Library website will reveal an interactive map that shows all the libraries in your city or zip code. You’ll be amazed at how many are around, and, if you have the slightest treasure hunting gene, you’ll begin to seek them out in your spare time. These days, Little Free Library hunting is one of our favorite things to do - especially on a rainy day. I’ll locate one we haven’t visited before and while I I warm up coffee or cocoa my kids will select a book from home to swap. It’s great fun and definitely gets us all excited about reading.

Now, the first step of participating in the Little Free Library excitement is to trade your first book. Use that map and find the one closest to you ASAP. But, if you fall in love with the idea, you can actually become a library host, or steward, as they call it by building or buying a Little Free Library and finding it a permanent home in your community. This could be in front of your home or business or another approved location. Here you’ll find resources to build your own or you can browse the assortment of pre-made libraries. Make sure you register, promote, and care for your library too!

No matter your level of involvement, it’s easy to understand why Little Free Library has become such a popular organization. When you merge community and books, how could everyone not be smitten? Little Free Library encourages readers - young and old, generosity, and positive community development. So, what are you waiting for? Take a book, leave a book, and enjoy the fun of sharing with Little Free Library!