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Hamb's avatar

Does your town have "little free libraries"?

Asked by Hamb (1370points) 1 month ago

We have a bunch of these little free libraries around town. It’s an honor system book swap that seems to work pretty well. My wife is currently reading a book from one of these. She has donated books as well.

I love the idea, and would like to think that the model would be great to apply to other things besides books. They could be small sheds that provide public tools or goods.

Have you used these before or have you been involved in buying and installing one?

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11 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

The little town where I live has one near our community center (which is fitting since it was converted from an elementary school). The nearby city has about half a dozen of them. We also have one at most of our county parks. They must be popular because they inspired the city’s downtown committee to buy a mobile building and use it as a larger scale free library. I’ve never taken a book from one of the libraries, but I have donated books to a few of them.

My little town also has a community tools program, but it’s not on an honor system. You have to sign them out and sign them back in. The only consequence for not returning one, however, is that you can’t sign any more out.

janbb's avatar

Yes, I have seen them and used them. There is one in my neighborhood and also one on the boardwalk and one near where I stay when I’m in Berkeley. I think they’re a great idea!

LadyMarissa's avatar

We don’t have the libraries, but one little girl set up something similar for food during the pandemic. She set up a small box with canned goods & a sign saying, “IF you’re hungry, take something. IF you’re NOT hungry, please leave something.” Within the first 24 hours, she had more canned goods than the box would hold, so her dad made her a 2nd box that was placed elsewhere. Last I heard, she has 4 boxes around town & people are still leaving for those who are in need. Strange as it may sound, those taking aren’t being greedy & raiding the box for everything in it either. She checks the boxes daily to make sure that there is something in every one of them. Her Momma is so proud of her daughter!!!

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

There are quite a few around here. I walk and bike and notice new (to me) ones often. I dropped a few books in them. I don’t think I have borrowed any.

JLeslie's avatar

My town does. You can take books and never return them if you want, there is no official check out. People donate all the time, the library is a room about 20’x60’ full of books and has a magazine section. Volunteers keep everything in order.

We also have regular county libraries, I have 5 city/county libraries within 6 miles! I’m right on the county line and can use both systems.

Demosthenes's avatar

My town does not have them, but the neighboring town does. I think it’s a nice idea. I have tons of books and am always donating a few when I get new ones (usually to the library or a thrift shop) so I would like to have another option and I wouldn’t mind finding a new book to read while on a bike ride.

Hamb's avatar

Admittedly, I didn’t realize this was such a big thing until recently. I thought these were just homemade mini book boxes that I would find in my local neighborhoods (there is one about a hundred feet from my house).

jca2's avatar

I’ve seen one near friends’ in the next town over, and my town has one for food. It’s called “A Little Food Pantry” or something like that.

Where I live, there’s a pavilion where the secretary sits who handles the housing association’s work, and there’s a book shelf in there where people donate books and anyone is free to take them. It reminds me I should donate some books but I never think of that place.

misfit's avatar

Yep. We have hundreds.

canidmajor's avatar

We have little free libraries and little pantries, too. They are the same principle, but with non-perishables. People drop off food, people take stuff as needed.
I love my town.

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