Little Free Library

The idea behind the Little Free Library (or LFL) is like the leave a penny/take a penny coin spot at your local convenience store. Except with books. The non-profit idea started 5 years ago in Hudson, WI where a son, in tribute to his mother, created a box on his property where people could just take a book or leave a book. No strings.

It’s a great idea and in those 5 years since it started, there are between 10 to 15 thousand of these LFLs all around the world. Some of them are really quite cool including miniature replicas of the houses they’re next to, TARDIS machines, or various architectural ingenuities.

I’ve been wanting one of these for quite some time and while I haven’t quite convinced my partner that we should install one, a neighbor of ours has commissioned me to make one for her daughter. I couldn’t be more thrilled as I’m starting to have too many ideas of ways to build it.

Just curious if any other dopers have one or have neighbors that do.

There’s a lovely write-upon the LFLs in the most recent Rotarian journal that came out this week.

I work at a public library in a small historic town, and I cannot tell you how many of our patrons have totally missed the point and are wondering when the library is going to be putting ours up.

Sorry, nope. I deal with curating a real library all day. I’m not about to curate a miniature one in front of the library for free once I get off work, thanks.

They seem especially good for already active communities or groups. I love seeing the creativity in the different designs.

Huh, interesting. I actually walked past one of these yesterday and was wondering what it was.

My gym has one of these. Take a book, leave a book, write your review inside the cover. Fun.

Five years? There’s been “leave a book, take a book” racks in several Metra (commuter rail) stations for years now, usually well-stocked with surplus paperbacks from the local library.

There’s one on my way to work, on a very busy street. I’d like to stop sometime and put some books in it, but it would be dangerous for me, I think. It’s near an elementary school and I’m sure it’s more for the benefit of kids walking to school. It’s shaped like a little red schoolhouse.

I love this idea, and I’ve seen a couple pop up near me, in a suburban area. I’m tempted to do it myself, but my block backs up on 2 schools, and I have visions of vandalism, leaving my front yard covered in book pages. I’ve considered making one for my folks, for their very rural summer place. No reason to keep all those books stacked in the basement, when someone else could be enjoying them.

My cousin has one, and she loves doing it. I don’t know why the idea doesn’t do much for me. I have dropped off books, and borrowed books, on train station take-a-book/leave-a-book shelves, but mostly I do book swapping through paperbackswap online.

I love the idea and bought one that complimented my old place this winter. Now that spring is near, it isn’t appropriate in my new living situation. I am trying to find a new owner if anyone has any leads. It is the Scandinavian model that is on the website and is in perfect condition.

Also look into Bookcrossing:

"BookCrossing (also BC, BCing or BXing) is defined as “the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.” The term is derived from, a free online book club which was founded to encourage the practice, aiming to “make the whole world a library.”

The ‘crossing’ or exchanging of books may take any of a number of forms, including wild-releasing books in public, direct swaps with other members of the websites, or “book rings” in which books travel in a set order to participants who want to read a certain book. "

From time to time I make substantial donations of books to Friends of Library groups.

The general idea of “leave a book, take a book” has been around for decades at least, so the Little Free Library didn’t invent this idea.

Indeed. My local library had a section of paperbacks for this purpose in the '70s.

A neighborhood group installed one of these in the area where I work and someone (plural) trashed it and stole all the books. :frowning:

I don’t have one but there are a half dozen in my area, one on my way home. So I’ve stopped there and got books, and I have also put books in. It’s really fun.

What a great idea. A look at the map indicates there are none in my city (and only a few in Australia). I’m in a location that would be ideal so I may just do this.

Here is an article that appeared last year in our local paper, on little free libraries.

I love this idea. My local PBS station did a piece on some of these little libraries around town. If I can find the link I’ll post it.

I’ve driven past one before that’s at the exit of a school. I didn’t realize it was part of a larger network. There’s apparently a couple more in my town too.

I have the disturbing feeling that it would be against my city’s ordinances…

We were going to do one but a neighbor a few doors up beat us to the punch. Seems almost too much like competition lol.

Baker - also in Topeka btw.