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Tiny libraries: building community and literacy

IMG_4074We love books around here. Stacks of my three-year-old’s adored firetruck and tractor tales spill off the shelves, my five-year-old is desperate to read the next chapter of Charlotte’s Web, and we’ve worn out two copies of that perennial favorite of babies, Goodnight Moon. Whenever it’s sharing day at preschool, my boys always bring books.

So I was thrilled to hear about Little Free Library, hand-built libraries in communities around the world stocked with books to borrow. There are at least 5000 Little Free Libraries all around the world, in over 36 countries. It’s such a fun way to share books and build community connections.

They’re tiny treasure boxes waiting to be discovered — I know my kids would dance with joy if they found one in our neighborhood. So, we’re planning an outing/literary treasure hunt to bring a few gently-used books to share to one of the Little Free Libraries near us, and find one to borrow.

You can find out if there’s a Little Free Library near you by searching this map.  The organization also started a partnership with Books for Africa to start 2000 libraries, and stock them with books.

Little Free Library

Little Free Library

It’s easy to start a Little Free Library with the tools they have available. You can hand make your own – creative types have built them out of  old mailboxes, drift wood, or cranberry crates. Or, you can order one, complete with a custom paint job, from Little Free Library. Families, schools, nonprofit organizations, children’s museums are all creating tiny libraries to share the printed word.

 

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