The first Little Free Library was built in 2009 when Todd Bol decided to honor his late mother, a former teacher, by building a miniature library to place in the yard of his Hudson, Wis. home. The same year Bol met Madison-based Rick Brooks, an outreach program manager for the UW Division of Continuing Studies. They found they had a lot in common and began talking about ways to enlarge upon Bol’s mini-library idea.
The sense of community involvement shared by Bol and Brooks is reflected in the way the LFLs work. Anyone can take a book for free from the libraries and anyone can donate books at any time. There is no limit on the amount of books that can be taken or donated.
By spring, Humboldt Park School had its own Little Free Library.
Response to the library has been positive. Students, parents, and neighbors regularly frequent the tiny library—some who have congratulated Becker for the undertaking.
Becker said the library seems to have become a meeting place for community members. “I think there’s something whimsical about the little library idea, maybe a throwback to past days when neighbors hung out on their porches and shared the day’s experiences with each other,” she said.
She thinks the LFL can demonstrate that ordinary people can contribute to the literacy of the community and that community is where to begin to build a better world. “This little tiny library is reaching out to touch a neighborhood, Becker said. “We are really the community’s school and what better way for a school to reach out to the community to share literacy.”
More info: http://www.littlefreelibrary.org