In 2009, Todd H. Bol built a small wooden structure, filled it with books and placed a sign on it that read: take a book, share a book. He placed the “little library” outside his house in honor of his late mother.
Ten years later, Bol’s idea has grown into a global nonprofit with libraries in every continent except Antarctica. More than 90,000 Little Free Libraries exist across the world, sharing more than 120 million books, according to the organization’s website.
Celebrate Little Free Libraries tenth anniversary with this slideshow featuring some of the most charming book collections they’ve helped create.
Diane Oster’s husband built their library from Advantech scraps. “This Little Library is located in a small lake community with families,” Oster told the nonprofit. “My hope is everyone will continue to support the library and enjoy reading. My two grandsons did the ribbon cutting ceremony.”
Opened in 2016, this library in Michigan was sponsored by The Funky Frog, a children’s store.
“Our library was built by Renee ]Perkin's] father using recycled products and decorated by Renee,” the team told Little Free Libraries. “We hope that the community enjoys this special library for years to come.”
“I am a lifelong reader and to me, libraries have always been special places,” Patricia Hoffman told Guideposts.org. “I wanted to give neighbors and travelers the chance to grab a good read and our library is used a lot! Custer is in the center of the Black Hills and we have millions of tourists pass through our town in the summer.”
Kaye Turner told Little Free Libraries that a local artist, Tim Norton, built two of the small bookstands for her and her sisters. Their libraries honor their father.
The public library sponsored several Little Free Libraries in Kindred so that patrons would have access to books even when the library was closed.
A town came together to establish this artful little library. “Nestled in with the musical instruments and community garden, it is truly a dreamy spot,” Heather Niedermaier told the Little Free Libraries team. “Envisioned by our steward, purchased by those dedicated to sharing literacy, painted by a talented local artist, and installed by a generous local business; this library is not only a work of art, but a true community effort. All we ask is - take a book, leave a book, repeat.”
“We have our own books that we donate to the Shack and others that are donated from the community,” M. Renee Blare told Guideposts.org. “They are dropped off by the library, the Senior Center, anonymously and rotated throughout the community libraries. I simply rotate the books so that the people, teens, and young ones in the neighborhood have a chance to read them all.”
The Coffeyville city government and public library worked together to create a library in their town. “Our mission is to show those we serve that we're striving to meet them where they are and provide everyone access to literacy and to make their lives better,” Rachel Koszalka told Little Free Libraries.
Kinzie Jensen worked to get funds from a foundation to plant a little library in Kenmare. “The library is located in our downtown park square, by our famous ‘Danish Mill,’” Jensen told Guideposts.org. “We have a population of around 1,096 people in our town and this addition was awesome for our community. I am hoping to get funding to get another one at our playground in town.”
This Hawaiian library is designed to represent the community’s love of the ocean and the Kahuku Red Raiders. “Books are generously donated by community members of Laie and the Kahuku Public Library,” Ilene Ingley told Little Free Libraries. “All ages welcome. Mahalo for your support!”
“Ultimately, I want to connect with people over what they are reading and create space in my hometown to build empathy and compassion through books,” Mel Healy told Guideposts.org. “It is my hope that this Little Free Library will serve as a small step towards that goal.”
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