Last weekend, while walking two kiddos I was doing childcare for to a local park, we went past a house that had a small free library in a nice little window doored box on a post in their front yard (pictured above). It’s a simple concept that I phrase as: Wanna book? Take a book! Gotta book? Leave a book! Turns out that you can go to http://littlefreelibrary.org/ and learn all about these free libraries and even find out where there are ones in your community around the U.S.
Well, I was so drawn to this idea that I decided to make my own! You can buy a kit on the website above or simply make it a do-it-yourself project. So I went to our local home re-use center and found a $5 brown metal cabinet. After some light sanding, primer, and paint I was ready to go! I searched through my bookshelf for books to donate to kick it off and even threw in some DVD’s (I came up with 13 books, 9 dvd’s, and 3 kids books). And around 9:00am this morning I set it up out front of our house on the curb and now it’s open for business! My good friend Jennifer helped me to come up with names and my favorite was one of her suggestions: Books in the Hood :)
Now, while I enjoy books I was more called to this project due to the friendly neighborhood unification aspect of it. These free little libraries have the potential to add a certain charm to a street and help bring folks together. They can also help to slowly penetrate that exterior hardness that can often build up as we’re going about our day and interacting with others. I see these little libraries as a bell of mindfulness, calling us to return to the present moment, connect with the element of goodness, and perhaps even alight our face with a smile.
If you feel inspired to try one out in your yard please check out the website above for great info and resources. You can even list yours on their online map. Happy reading and happy community building!