The ongoing parade of books that cycle through a Little Free Library is endlessly fascinating. You never know what you’ll find. Right now, for example, this is my Little Free Library’s inventory: a gardening guide, a few Magic School Bus books, Rabbit, Run by John Updike, three paperback detective novels, Aerodynamics for Engineers, a history of protest in America, a New Yorker, a healthy-eating encyclopedia, a prayer book, and a biography of actor Chuck Norris. (That one’s been there awhile.)
In the past year, more than three million books of every kind changed hands in Little Free Libraries around the world. Now, Little Free Library is getting a book of its own.
My Little Free Library—to be published in Coffee House Press’s “Books in Action” series in 2015—will be a celebration of the LFL movement, with the story of how it all began, remarkable first-hand accounts from Little Free Library stewards, and a treasure trove of ideas for getting creative with your own Little Free Library.
I have the humble honor of collecting stories for the book, and I’ve heard from LFL supporters all over the globe who are doing big things. A woman in India, for instance, is working to bring one thousand Little Free Libraries to under-served areas of her country. And Books for Africa plans to install more than two thousand LFLs in Ghana, Tanzania, and other African nations, where books are precious.
But more often than not, the stories I hear are smaller—though no less compelling. One man from the Netherlands showcases the ultra-cool LFL he handcrafted from a vintage pinball machine. A steward in Somerville, Massachusetts, tells how his diverse street came together to design and build a Little Free Library, complete with a solar panel to keep it lit at night. A mother from Prescott, Wisconsin, writes about the loss of her son, and how a Little Free Library became a healing memorial, overlooking the peaceful St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. Inmates from a Midwestern prison share how they’re giving back by building LFLs for communities in need. And a fan from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, explains how her simple Kickstarter campaign to raise money for one Little Free Library brought in more than $10,000.
What’s your Little Free Library story? I’d love to hear it. Send me a message at email@example.com, and your LFL could make it into the pages of our very first book—coming soon to a Little Free Library near you.
Keep up with Margret and the Little Free Library book on Twitter: @mmaldrich, @lflbook