Seventeen days and nine states later, Little Free Library founder Todd H. Bol is back from an epic road trip through the southern United States to Washington, D.C., on his most recent Across America tour.
Here are some of the highlights from his adventures:
Peace Pole Libraries
Little Free Library debuted our new Peace Pole Libraries—six-foot-tall book exchanges bearing the heartfelt message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in more than eighty languages. Bol presented these Libraries to three important Alabama civil rights institutions: the 16th Street Baptist Church, Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, and Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. (Read more about them here.) A Peace Pole Library was also given to National Public Radio in Washington, D.C.
Bol met with mayors and law enforcement groups in several cities to present them with Little Free Libraries and discuss our Kids, Community, and Cops initiative, which helps connect police with the communities they serve in a positive way. He visited mayors’ offices and police departments in Atlanta, Georgia; Greenville, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Durham, North Carolina; and Richmond, Virginia. The Kids, Community, and Cops program is already successful in places like Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Cleveland, and we’re excited to share it with other cities.
National Book Festival
The trip ended at the impressive National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Library of Congress, the National Book Festival hosts world-renowned authors—from Stephen King to Joyce Carol Oates to Lois Lowry—as well as literacy-based nonprofits like Little Free Library. We built Little Free Libraries on-site at the festival and gave them to five lucky winners. One of the best parts of the day was meeting the newest Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, who is the first woman and first African American to hold that office. (See photos from our National Book Festival experience here!)
If there’s one thing Little Free Library founder Todd Bol loves to do, it’s meet fellow Little Free Library stewards around the country and around the world. Throughout the trip, gracious Little Free Library stewards hosted intimate gatherings for Bol and other stewards to meet, talk, laugh, and even cry, as they told meaningful stories about their Little Free Library experiences. Our warmest thanks to these stewards for some moments we’ll never forget!
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