A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for websites that offer free images that people like me (who are not so great at taking pictures) can use to spruce up their blogs, and do it legitimately. My search took me to a few websites that have free high-resolution photos. When I filtered my search on one of the sites for “books”, I came across this adorable picture of what looked like a slightly small room-like construction with a few books in it, and I was like “aww… that’s so adorable”.However, a closer look at the picture revealed printed letters “Little Free Library”. Curiosity got the better of me and I soon discovered that “Little Free Library” is more than just a small room look-alike with books in it. It’s one of the evidences of a powerful albeit quiet movement by the same name. It was started by Todd Bol as a tribute to his mother who loved reading. He built a small model of a classroom, mounted it in his front yard and placed a few books in it.
Within days, people in his neighbourhood were raving about it. This was the beginning of a powerful movement that has made its way across the world, even to Bangalore, India, in 2012. Through this project, people have been taking books and replacing them with others. It was soon being called interesting names like House of Stories and Habitat for Humanities. These little free libraries were encouraging people to read, and support others’ reading habits with the motto “Take a book, Return a book”.
What started off as a small tribute, has gone on to touch 36,000 neighbourhoods, with as many little free registered libraries having been set up in the 50 states of USA and 70 countries across the world. You can check out if there’s a Little Free Library in and around your neighbourhood with the help of this map on their website*. To my joy, I found one that’s relatively close to my workplace, and another close to home!
*In no way am I promoting the Little Free Library movement or the establishment of the libraries, I’m just sharing my serendipitous discovery of something as unbelievably powerful and essential as this movement).
Picture credit: Unsplash