When Brooke Fossey, steward of Little Free Library #52072, moved to Pittsford, NY, she decided to bring one of her favorite activities with her: Kidical Mass group bike rides for kids and families. She established a local chapter and brought members of her community together to ride their bikes to get ice cream, to visit local playgrounds, and even do a 60-mile bike ride to go camping.
As a steward and fan of Little Free Library book-sharing boxes, Brooke knew there was an opportunity to merge her two passions into a Little Free Library bike tour. But Brooke took this idea one step further and had her husband, Austin, design Little Free Library passports that participants took with them on the ride. At many of the Little Libraries they visited, the steward would come out and stamp each participant’s passport. How cool is that?!
So how did it work? The group gathered at the newly renovated Community Center playground for playtime and chitchat. There, they were joined by the Assistant Director of Pittsford Community Library, who shared information about park and museum passes that you can borrow from the library, as well as a Rochester toy library.
Steward Tip: The Pittsford Community Library is one of many public libraries that donate their excess books to Little Free Libraries in the area. Ask your public library if they’d be willing to do the same for you!
According to Brooke, “Next, we hopped on our bikes and set off to make our Little Free Library circuit, visiting seven of Pittsford’s Little Free Libraries…meeting Little Free Library volunteer stewards through this organized LFL bike ride was the absolute highlight. Stewards came out to read books to the kids, left juice boxes out for us on the 90-degree day, had wagons full of kids books to sort through, and they were the heart of the whole afternoon.”
And of course, bikers also got to stamp their passports at each Little Library they visited. Brooke shared, “We are so grateful to Deborah, Holly, Gary, and Janice, the Little Free Library stewards who came out to greet us and stamped our ‘Little Library Passports.’ By sharing their books and kindness they made the ride extraordinary.” The tour ended at Jefferson Road playground, where the kids played with what little energy they had left, and made bookmarks in the shade.
So, how can you make your own adorable Little Free Library passports?! Brooke and Austin kindly shared the template they used and their tips below.
Here are Brooke’s instructions to create the passports: The templates above print double-sided on 6 x 12″ paper I cut out from 12 x 12″ sheets from the craft store. We fed them through a home printer. Any type of paper will do, as long as the printer can handle it. Once these are printed, you cut them again into three rows, each 6 x 4″. These get folded over into assembled into 3 x 4″ passports.
The cover of the passport is navy blue linen paper (such as this), which comes in 12 x 12″ sheets. Cut these into 6 x 4″ rectangles. Put the pages inside and staple. It helps to fold all the pages in half to make a binding kind of thing before stapling them. The final booklet is 3″ wide and 4″ high. The stamps on the outside were done with the embossing ink and an embossing gun because home printers can’t print in white.
Are you ready to organize your own Little Free Library bike tour? You could start by using our world map to find Little Libraries in your neighborhood. Or how about just starting a Library in your yard? Learn how to start a Little Free Library.