Little Free Libraries Help Build Communities By Bringing People Together

Yesterday's article at Common Dreams by Lauren McCauley titled Spreading Community and Love of Books 'Little Free Libraries' Sprout Worldwide turned me onto a whole new bottom up movement that helps build community cohesion and interaction, as Laura says, "In an era of smart-phone-reading, electronic tablets, and 'books on ipod'..." The Free Little Library movement was started by Wisconsin native Todd Bol. Regardless of whether we're young or old, whether we live in giant cities or tiny small towns as Todd says, "“These libraries are always bringing people together”.

Their website is very well laid out with lots of pictures of smiling folks, useful ideas for building your own and instructions on joining this worldwide movement. There also heartwarming stories like the one Bol tells of a woman who put a cookbook into her library, only to find it taken and replaced just hours later with the freshly baked cupcakes. Todd encourages folks to join the network and for a $35 fee receive lots of goodies including a pretty 'Free Little Library' sign with an official registration # and the 'Take a Book. Return a book' motto on it.

The little Pine Tree Rd. community at Black Point south of Powell River, BC where my best friend and i live and go walking a couple times everyday is an ideal spot for this great idea to take hold. We moved here a bit over two years ago and knew no one in the immediate neighborhood but slowly by first making eye contact and waving to people driving past, then stopping to chat for a couple of minutes over the fence or with fellow strollers both Pancho and i have enjoyed watching the little community open up to us. When we first started our walks some folks waved back and smiled, a few stopped to chat, now everyone does.

Last year i started to informally exchange, berries and veggies with one nice lady who loves to bake for her extended family. This year a few of us gardener folks exchanged seeds and herb cuttings. Often during our evening walk we're joined by one or another local out enjoying the bird and the tree frog serenade with their best friends. The dogs, like the people, seldom need leashes as we're all fairly well socialized and there's very little traffic.

Pine Tree Rd. is a wonderful little community and a little library will be an excellent addition. Being a hermit, i might join the network, might not. But what i will do for sure is adopt the idea and start gathering my re-cycled materials this afternoon.