Bookish Favorite – January 2018

Little Free Library: ‘Take a Book, Return a Book’

phone-booth-little-free-library-hideaway-books-adamJanuary, like most months, has been full of bookish treats. The new year brought on “best of” book lists & reading resolutions, there was a peak in interest for dystopian books and the already infamous release of Fire and Fury. At the end of each month we begin the difficult task of choosing just one Bookish Favorite. From natural disasters to social & political unrest, the news hasn’t been so cheery lately. With that in mind, we wanted to focus on something positive this month. Our Bookish Monthly Favorite? The Little Free Library.

This bookish organization always puts a smile on our faces & continues to spread the joy long after the holidays have ended. Little Free Libraries have become a go-to pit stop during our road trips. They are the present the perfect opportunity to stretch our legs & see local artistic aesthetic.

Check out last month’s Bookish Favorite.

A Little Background

Todd Bol with first Little Free Library
Sport portraits by Knoebel Portrait Design

The Little Free Library has a pretty fantastic back story. It all started when co-founder, Todd Bol, created a book repository as a tribute to his mother who was a ‘book lover and school teacher’. He took an old garage door and used it to build a small, one-room schoolhouse (talk about upcycling!). Bol stocked it with books, displayed it on his lawn in Hudson, Wisconsin and the Little Free Library was born. This was back in 2009…since then it

“has morphed into a global phenomenon, scattering book-filled Little Free Libraries like literary dandelion seeds.”

Little Free Library 2018 Facts:

  • Over 50,000 Libraries
  • In EVERY U.S. state & over 70 countries
  • Millions of books exchanged each year
  • Awarded:
    • Top-Rated Nonprofit by the Great Nonprofits Organization
    • Women’s National Book Association’s Second Century Prize
    • Library of Congress Literacy Award
    • And more….

What It Is & How It Works

Take a Book, Leave a Book. That’s it!

Bol explains, “It’s a deceptively simple idea. Anyone can put up a Little Free Library practically anywhere and attach a small sign that says ‘Take a Book, Leave a Book.’ Anyone registering their library on the non-profit’s website gets a “Little Free Library” sign in the mail and the location is noted on an online map.”

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that gives millions of people access to books while bringing people and their communities closer together.

Why We Love It 

The thing about Little Free Libraries is that what they are is why we love it. Why we chose it as our favorite? It is no secret that there has been a noticeable change in the air. A change in what people are saying and sharing. A general…bummed out…vibe. Now is the time to step back and appreciate the essence of Little Free Libraries. To connect any and all people in a positive way, to promote education, literacy, community. This is what Little Free Libraries are all about and we believe it is the perfect choice as a favorite that can put a little pep in our step.

One of Bol’s responses during an interview falls in line with our thinking:

Todd Bol Q&A

Q: What gives you hope or what concerns you? 

A: There’s an old saying that you don’t think clearly with clenched fists. I believe too often in America right now we’re angry and we’re spending time and energy about where we disagree. What is wonderful about Little Free Libraries that gives me hope is it brings neighborhoods together. It brings a commonality of improving literacy within the neighborhood and they connect. I see that people are more concerned about connecting and being together and building a strong community than I see dissension. I believe dissension is too often emphasized and it’s not really who we are. Little Free Libraries are more about who we are, that is, connecting neighborhoods and making neighborhoods better and making every single child and adult better. I think Little Free Libraries push a ray of hope on us that is more representative of who we are.

Some of our favorite Little Free Libraries

That’s a #WhimsicalWednesday #LittleFreeLibrary if we’ve ever seen one.

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Doppelganger #LittleFreeLibrary! #givebooks

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Speechless. #LittleFreeLibrary #givebooks

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Book sharing in paradise 🙂 #LittleFreeLibrary #givebooks

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Getting Involved

USA Today featured Todd Bol, co-founder of Little Free Library, in their ‘I Am An American’ article where he explained,

A Little Free Library is kind of like your first kiss. It’s exciting, it’s thrilling, you know it’s going to be special and you don’t know where it is going but you know it’s going to magic and that’s the way it’s been for us.

Who doesn’t love a first kiss?!?

Married life ensures a last kiss but since the first is off the table we will capture that warm & fuzzy feeling with a library of our own. This month we will become Little Free Library stewards!

We always get a kick out of visiting these unique libraries and wanted to bring that same joy to the people in our community. The base of our library is complete and we’re waiting for our registration to arrive. This gives us a little time to start decorating our Little Free Library and we need your help!

So, tell us: What do you think the theme for our Little Free Library should be?