Building Community | Sparking Creativity | Inspiring Readers
The People Who Started the Movement
In the beginning – 2009 – Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse. It was a tribute to his mother; she was a teacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it. He built several more and gave them away. Each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS. Rick Brooks of UW-Madison saw Bol's do-it-yourself project while they were discussing potential social enterprises. Together, the two saw opportunities to achieve a variety of goals for the common good. Each brought different skills to the effort. Bol was a creative artisan experienced with innovative enterprise models; Brooks was a youth and community development educator with a background in social marketing.• Andrew Carnegie’s support of 2,509 free public libraries around the turn of the 19th to 20th century.
• “Take a book, leave a book” collections in public spaces.
• Little Free Library is the registered trademark of the Little Free Library organization. The official Little Free Library motto is “Take a Book, Return a Book.”
• On October 27, 2015 Little Free Library was awarded the Library of Congress Literacy Award for its effective implementation of best practices in literacy and reading promotion.
• They don’t require library cards or late fines, don’t insist that patrons whisper or stay quiet, and don’t mind if you do not return a book.
• People meet more neighbors and passers-by than they have in years.
• They often spend time getting to know people as well as books.
• They value the free-wheeling exchange of books, especially because they are often surprised by the variety and quality of the collections.
• They like giving as much as –or perhaps even more than—taking books. Little Free Libraries are likely to have a positive influence on community quality of life and social capital.
• Children, youth and adults of all ages and backgrounds can share in the give and take. People of widely diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds participate in this grassroots effort.For more information, please visit Little Free Library