Friday, July 9, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Little Free Library

It’s summer, time to lie on a beach or sit in your backyard and read a book! But what if you don’t have a book to read? Today’s Feel Good Friday organization, Little Free Library, has you covered. 

Little Free Library is a neighborhood book exchange that began in Wisconsin in 2009 when Todd Bol built a model of a one room schoolhouse, put it on a post in his yard and filled it with books. The idea and the libraries spread and Little Free Library became a registered nonprofit organization in 2012. Their mission is “to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries.” Their tag line, “Take a Book. Share a Book.”

The reason the organization focuses on book access is explained on their website. “Today in the United States, more than 30 million adults cannot read or write above a third-grade level. Studies have repeatedly shown that books in the hands of children have a meaningful impact on improving literacy. The more books in or near the home, the more likely a child will learn and love to read. But two out of three children living in poverty have no books to call their own.
The programs run by Little Free Library to achieve their mission of book access for all include: equipping, educating and guiding volunteer stewards to establish Little Free Libraries in their communities; Read in Color, an initiative to bring diverse books to book-sharing boxes; the Impact Library Program, which has provided 1,350 no-cost Little Free Library book exchanges to communities where books are scarce; and the Action Book Club, which combines reading and community service.

If you want to find a Little Free Library in your neighborhood, use this map. There are now libraries in all 50 states and on all 7 continents. Over 100,000 libraries in all with 42 million books shared annually. The impact of these libraries is highlighted on the website: “72% of volunteer stewards have met more neighbors because of their Little Free Library” and “92% of people say their neighborhood feels like a friendlier place because of a Little Free Library.” All that and free books too!

If you’d like to support the work of Little Free Library there are many ways to do so. Start a library in your neighborhood, make a donation, and amplify their work on social media by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @LtlFreeLibrary and Instagram @littlefreelibrary. 

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