I’d like to think that you know by now that my world is often to do with books and paper, words and language, dialogues and conversations. Yesterday, I received an email about a project called the Little Free Library. It is a concept that aims to bring communities together, and promote literacy and numeracy, by putting up small self-contained curated libraries in neighbourhoods, front gardens, corners of streets, outside houses, basically at any random location across the world. The books are purposefully selected by you the owner, your favourite texts, to be shared and discovered within the community.
This non-profit project was started in 2009 by Todd Bol and Rick Brooks. You can either buy a box directly from the Little Free Library, download plans on how to build one, or make one yourself. Some of them do look a little like bird tables or dolls’ houses as you can see below. In 2011, there were 100 libraries. Currently, there are around 6,000 around the world where they predict that by the end of the year there will be over 25,000. Amazing right?
“It’s started a neighbourhood exchange. It gets people talking and more comfortable with their neighbours…This leads to them helping each other.”
I’m pretty in love with this idea. When I build my own house, which is on my life list and will get done (and when I say I’ll make something happen I usually, 99% of the time, do), I will have one in my front garden, by the end of my drive, for everyone to come and use. What books will go in there? Well, that might take some time to decide…in the meantime, what books would you select?