It’s been quite the year at Little Free Library! From milestones to moves, 2022 was a year full of reasons to celebrate. We’re so grateful for all of you who continue to support us on our journey to expand book access, build community, and inspire readers. Here are a few of our favorite stories from 2022:
10. Banned Books
This year, we partnered with HarperCollins Children’s Publishing, Bookshop.org, the Banned Books Week Coalition, and the American Library Association to support banned books during Banned Books week in October. Banned Books Week offers an opportunity for readers to voice censorship concerns, celebrate free expression, and show their communities the importance of intellectual freedom. We were thrilled to give away 1,000 banned books to Little Free Library stewards thanks to our friends at HarperCollins.
Kiwanis International and Little Free Library teamed up to expand book access in communities around the world. The partnership provides a path for Kiwanis clubs to get books into young readers’ hands through Little Free Library book-sharing boxes. Many Kiwanis clubs are already Little Free Library stewards in their communities, and this new partnership will allow even more Kiwanis clubs and members to participate in local book sharing.
Little Free Library was a clue on iconic gameshow JEOPARDY! on February 22, 2022! Would you have gotten it right?
Each month, registered stewards can apply to win copies of the newest GMA book club pick. Winners might even see a photo of their Little Free Library on air! And all winners are featured on a special map on GMA’s website every month. Some of this year’s book club picks included The Maid by Nita Prose, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, and Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan.
We were stunned when a Little Free Library fan tagged us in a photo on Instagram, which featured a piece at The Met that seems to show evidence of a Little Free Library in the Middle Ages! The Division of the Booty, pictured here, is from a ten-piece set of the Story of David and Bathsheba. In the bottom right corner, you can see a small triangular structure with a circular opening, which contains a few books. We’re pretty convinced, so we took the liberty of chartering the book-sharing box.
Every year, Bill Gates releases his holiday book list, and this year, he arranged for copies of these books to be shared in more than 100 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world. Across the globe, Little Free Library stewards found five new books in their libraries along with a note from Mr. Gates declaring his love for reading.
Little Free Library, which was founded in Hudson, WI, made the move to St. Paul, MN this year! Our new office space is in the Wycliff Building in the Midway neighborhood’s Creative Enterprise Zone, where we held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this fall. LFL has early roots in the Twin Cities: In 2010 Minneapolis was a testing ground for the Little Free Library concept, and in 2020, Minneapolis was the first city to adopt LFL’s Read in Color program.
This year we expanded our Read in Color program across the country! Throughout the year the program reached Portland, New Orleans, Denver, and the Bay Area. We even partnered with Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. (ELP) Foundation after they pledged to build, install, and steward 150 “Little Town Library” book-sharing boxes in Oakland in order to distribute more than 50,000 books annually throughout the community to help encourage a love of reading.
In the spring we were so excited to launch the Little Free Library mobile application, designed to help readers locate Little Free Library book-sharing boxes in their home communities and around the globe. The free app, available for download on iOS and Android devices, makes it simple for users to find and interact with Little Free Libraries, wherever they may be.
We were thrilled to grant the 150,000th Little Free Library to the Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency (MCCAA) at their Head Homes Head Start location in Lebanon, Tennessee. The 150,000th Little Free Library, found at No. 1 Wheeler Street in Lebanon, joins LFL’s global network, which extends to 50 U.S. states, 115 countries, and all 7 continents (even Antarctica). It is accompanied by a mini library attachment to hold food and other essentials when needed.
To help launch us into 2022 and share books where they’re needed most, please consider a contribution to the Little Free Library nonprofit organization. Donate today!