In honor of National Library Week, which falls on the second full week of April each year, and National Bookmobile Day, which falls on the Wednesday of that week, I thought I'd remind you guys of Little Free Libraries, which is one of the newer ways to scout out books.
The idea of the bookmobile started in the 1800s in England.
Concerned that the library was not reaching everyone that it could, a Maryland librarian started the first bookmobile in the United States in the early 1900s.
While bookmobiles are still in service, they are more rare than they once were. Possibly as rare as a paper library card? This is my library card from my childhood, and today's library cards look nothing like this. This one was certainly well loved.
The first Little Free Library was built in 2009, and the movement is still going strong.
A Little Free Library is a neighborhood book exchange where people passing by can take a book to read or leave a book for someone else to find. In order to keep a Little Free Library stocked with new books, it's a good idea to bring a few books to share each time you visit.
While most of them look like little houses with a protective roof and door to keep the books safe from inclement weather, some people have gotten really creative with the design of their Little Free Libraries.
This one's a colorful, whimsical design:
This one's designed to look like one of Britain's iconic red phone boxes:
This beach Little Free Library is made of a hollowed out piece of driftwood:
And this one looks like Dr. Who's TARDIS (a blue British police box):
The first day of our Spring Break, I took the boys to the Little Free Library in our neighborhood. The one in our neighborhood is less than a mile from our house, so it only took a nice early morning walk with the dogs to visit.
It is designed to look like a little house, and the interior is wallpapered with book pages.
We left a set of level 1-3 readers that the boys have grown out of:
Two storybooks, and a set of bookmarks:
Aidyn found a copy of Bridge to Terabithia, and Jaxon found a new in package Disney Haunted Mansion Pop-Up Book and Amelia Bedelia Helps Out:
If you'd like to find a registered Little Free Library near you, you can visit this Little Free Library map. As of November 2016, there were 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries worldwide.
If you find that you don't have a Little Free Library in your area, you can start your own with a little information about how to start a Little Free Library.
This is definitely a fun activity that you should get your kids interested in and a sure-fire way to help beat summer boredom.
For another way to get free books for kids under age 5, sign up for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.
Make sure to check out our big list of 100 Things to Do This Summer for other great ideas or check out 40 Books Your Kids Should Read for some great summertime reading ideas.
This post contains affiliate links.