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What did I learn today - Little Free Libraries

Today I learned about the “Little Free Library Program”.   Little Free Libraries is a grassroots outreach movement to promote literacy, libraries, a love of reading and a sense of community through free book exchanges.  

Todd Bol, from Madison, Wisconsin, wanted to find a personal and unique way to honour his mother after her death.  His mother had been a school teacher, an avid reader, and a believer in sharing her favourite books.  He built a small wooden replica of a library, filled it with books and placed it outside his home.  From that single act hundreds of other Little Free Libraries have sprung up in eight countries.  The web site lists five in Ontario!  

The basic concept is much like the the penny jar in convenience stores: “Take a book, leave a book”.  Little Free Libraries are placed in neighbourhoods, bike paths, parks, anywhere people pass regularly.  Each Little Free Library has a steward who watches over the library, and gives each one a unique personal touch.  Neighbours share their favourite reads, some with little notes or bookmarks for special passages.  Theft has not been a concern, since it is not possible to steal a free book.  

For the few who may take a book and not leave a book, there is always the positive twist that they may actually read and enjoy the book and other users who may take one book and leave two.  

 I began to wonder if our community could make Little Free Libraries for alternate format books.  We could not follow the same format and place little boxes in public places, but perhaps we could have a virtual Little Free Library.  If we have our own audiobooks, large print books, or braille books, we could pass them around our community, either individually via Canada Post or through a volunteer who may want to coordinate a Little Free Library.  Food for thought.  I have contacted the Little Free Library with some questions and will let you know how they respond.

If you missed the stories on the national news, check out the website at  There are links to an assortment of media pieces.


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A similar idea to this (with braille books) was started in the States:

I'm not sure whether Canadians can participate in that one.

I heard the article on the news and was also very impressed. Just goes to show you that there are no bad ideas, just ideas that sometimes, may be ahead of their time.

There was an article about a woman in England who put her books on a garden wall. She was trying to down size and thought that rather than throwing the books away she'd see if her neighbors might be interested. Surprise surprise, most of her books were snatched up in less than a couple hours.

Just goes to show that despite all the sexy technology people still like to read.

ZZ - Disregard this link; it is used to trick spammers.