Sharing of love of literature with one’s community – a Little Free Library tour in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Have you heard about Little Free Libraries? They are a way for neighbours to share their favourite literature and stories. The idea is “take a book, leave a book”. In its simplest form, a Little Free Library is a weather-proof box of books set out for anyone to stop by, pick up a book (or two), and leave a book to share. Many are more elaborate than a simple box and cheerfully decorated.
There are at least 29 Little Free Libraries in my home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Thanks to a tour offered by the “big library”, Winnipeg Public Library, I discovered a few of them.
Little Free Libraries started in 2009 when Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former schoolteacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and set in on a post in his front yard with a sign that said FREE BOOKS.
The Little Free Library organization website has information on how to create your own Little Free Library. At least one person should be designated as “steward” to make sure the library is stocked, clean, and inviting. You should check local zoning laws before putting it up. Although you want it accessible, placement should take into consideration things that may cover or damage it, such as snowplows.
People who have set up Little Free Libraries report meeting and talking with neighbours they’d not met or conversed with much to that point. The Little Free Library website contains information on locations of Little Free Libraries across the world. These are libraries which have registered with the site. There are many other Little Free Libraries which have not been registered, so keep your eyes open. Stewards of Little Free Libraries are often aware of other locations within their cities.
Do you have a Little Free Library near you?