Finding a Little Free Library Near You

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

The idea of the bookmobile started in the 1800s in England.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

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.


Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

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.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

The first Little Free Library was built in 2009, and the movement is still going strong.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Finding a Little Free Library Near You

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.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Finding a Little Free Library Near You

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:

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

This one's designed to look like one of Britain's iconic red phone boxes:

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

This beach Little Free Library is made of a hollowed out piece of driftwood:

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

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.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

It is designed to look like a little house, and the interior is wallpapered with book pages.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

We left a set of level 1-3 readers that the boys have grown out of:

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

Two storybooks, and a set of bookmarks:

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

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:

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Little Free Libraries Near You

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.

Happy reading!

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