Little Free Libraries

1149164_537703629615993_862364407_oBusy families might not always find time to visit the local library to leisurely look for new books to read. But if there’s a Little Free Library nearby, kids and grownups can still enjoy the wonder of finding that just-right book!

Author and writing consultant Jean Fischer first learned about Little Free Libraries in 2012. Early this summer she became the steward, or friend, of a Little Free Library outside her home. I asked Jean if I could repost her story, and she gladly said yes.

Little Free Libraries–A Scathingly Brilliant Idea!

When I discovered Little Free Libraries, I hurried to tell you about them HERE. I wanted one. I REALLY wanted one. But the little boxes were pricey, and I didn’t know anyone who would build one for me. So, Little Free Libraries moved from my “I Gotta Have” list to my “Maybe Someday” list.

Jean Fischer

Jean Fischer

Well, guess what, friends. I got one! Yes. Yesterday my very own Little Free Library opened for business, and here’s how it happened:

There’s that old saying “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” and I was determined to find a way. I decided to contact the dean of students at our local Lutheran high school to see if maybe one of his woodworking students might be interested in an extra credit project. And do you know what? The dean of students just happened to also be the woodworking teacher. He was eager to help—so eager that he did most of the building himself while the kids observed, helped, and learned. They did an awesome job; don’t you agree?

They used the building plans found on the Little Free Library website. The box is made of recycled cedar, and much thought went into weatherproofing. They even put real shingles on the roof. The school donated their labor and the materials, and in return I made a money donation to the school. My friend Tim did the installation. We added a little plaque on the front door in memory of my late mom, Betty Ellsworth Fischer. She would have loved the little library.

My Little Free Library holds about fifty books on two shelves. I donated some of my own, I got others on eBay and at rummage sales, and a few author friends donated copies of their books as a way to market their work.

Now here’s the best part. Within minutes of opening, people were already using my Little Free Library. The first customers were two women out for a walk with their dog. One woman borrowed a book and returned with four of her own to donate. Then several other walkers stopped to check out the library, and I think they spread the word because after that neighbors began stopping by.

Little Free Libraries not only promote literacy, but they also provide a unique way to meet your neighbors and make new friends.

Would you like one? Then go for it! Remember: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

* * * * *

Thank you, Jean!

Jean says that once school began, children haven’t been using the Little Free Library as much as they did during the summer. But I’m thinking that as Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations role around, they’ll be back. How would you stock a Little Free Library for the holidays?


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© 2013, Diane Stortz
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Little Free Libraries — 5 Comments

  1. Diane, I’m so glad you shared Jean’s story. I LOVE this idea and have chatted with Jean about it on Facebook. I’m going to have to check with my HOA to see if I can do this. What a great way to build a good community spirit within your neighborhood. And a wonderful way to share God’s love through some good books, too!

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