You’ve likely heard of Little Free Library. Maybe you’ve visited one. LFL is a nonprofit organization that “inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through LFL book exchanges, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Sandy Freel, whose vision is declining, cannot get out much any longer and was feeling isolated and lonely. She became a steward of a library in a box in her yard in Iowa, and is now feeling part of her community again. Some LFLs wrap books for various holidays and attach a tag with general information like genre or author name. Some LFLs are pop ups that can be taken to fundraising or other community events, and move with a change in program location. One teen in my community used the idea to set up a little free food library where people can leave a donation or select something to eat. With a nod to the COVID pandemic, Fordham University alum Brandon Montes, who set up a streetcorner mobile (crate) library in the Bronx, NY, made some changes to how his library works. Before the pandemic, the book selection was chosen randomly, and Montes would drop the crates off, secure them, and come back later. Now, “I disinfect the books and I wrap them in plastic,” he said, adding that he fills the crates with whatever donations are processed and ready to go. He wears a mask and gloves, and sits by the crates at all times to ensure that he is the only person touching the disinfected books. “I don’t want to be a super spreader,” he said. “I engaged people on what would make them feel safe. Streetcorner Librarian
Through its Impact Library Program, LFL provides no-cost book exchanges to communities where books are scarce. The Impact Library Package Includes: pre-built Little Free Library or Kit (styles vary); charter sign with registration number; steward’s information and resources guide; starter collection of books; library post with topper; paid shipping costs. Stewards must add the library to the LFL world map; keep the library in good condition and filled with books for at least a year; submit a photo of the library once it’s installed; produce at least one community activity in the first year of service, such as holding a story hour for kids; and respond to requests from local media if contacted. For more information and an application go to LFL Impact. Inspired by the creativity? How about a Little Free braille and large print books library?