Little Free Library is a creative idea, thought up by Todd Bol and Rick Brooks, that aims to promote literacy and bring communities together by putting up mini libraries in neighborhoods around the world. Started in 2009, it's a nonprofit that seeks to place these small, accessible book exchange boxes right in front of a house or on a street corner. (Take a book, return a book.) You can buy a box directly from the Little Free Library website, download plans on how to build one, or completely make one yourself.
Little Free Library
What makes the idea so special? Their website states: "Little Free Libraries have a unique, personal touch and there is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community. These aren't just any old books, this is a carefully curated collection and the Library itself is a piece of neighborhood art!"
In 2011, there were just 100 libraries and currently there's around 6,000 of them, all around the world. “By that account, we’ll have 25,000 libraries by the end of the year,” says Bol. For $35, Little Free Library owners can put their library in a database so that others can find them. Those who register will also receive discounts and information about how to keep and maintain their library.
“It’s started a neighborhood exchange. It gets people talking and more comfortable with their neighbors,” he said. “This leads to them helping each other.”