I love libraries. My first library card was the first thing I ever signed with my very own signature (I was five). I took a few days to decide how I would sign my name, after my older brother told me that my signature has to be the same for my entire life (the pressure!). Having that card- and the ability (and trust put in me) to choose which books to check out and be responsible for- is something I’ll never forget. I can’t imagine what extra thrill it would have given me to have libraries in my very own neighborhood that I could choose from on daily outings…probably the same sort of thrill that I experience now each time I come upon a Little Free Library!
This recent article in The Atlantic about people getting snooty about Little Free Libraries in their neighborhoods (and forcing the owners to take them down) has me down. I want so badly to put up a Little Free Library in my yard, but what if the neighbors don’t like it? Will I have just wasted money (and excitement) on something that I have no other way of using? I can’t quite imagine why people would be so offended by these structures that promote literacy and community building, especially when these structures are typically on the smaller side and often not any more of an eyesore than, say, someone’s RV in their driveway or a play set in the front yard.
Assuming I get permission from my landlords, I will take my chances and gamble on the fact that I have some pretty reasonable neighbors who are community builders and not grouchy control-lords. Also, the more people grumble, the more I want to plant LFLs everywhere so that they become the norm instead of the exception; so the people who argue against them are as likely to win as if they asked someone to take their mailbox down. While waiting to hear if I have permission, I’ll peruse Little Free Library’s Instagram account to get some inspiration for my own tiny book sharing structure. Some of my favorites are below.
What are your thoughts on Little Free Libraries?
And here are Five Tips for Running a Little Free Library from our own Swapna Krishna!
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