Chances are, you’ve heard of a pub crawl. But what about a Little Free Library Crawl?
A “crawl,” or tour, is a fun way to visit multiple Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood. It allows local residents to walk, bike, or drive from Library to Library; meet the friendly stewards who tend them; and learn more about how Little Free Libraries work.
This month, the Little Free Libraries of the Coastal Bend group held a well-attended Little Free Library Crawl in Corpus Christi, Texas. There were six different Little Free Libraries on the tour. At every stop, stewards hosted meet-and-greets with activities and refreshments for all ages.
“We each had different set-ups,” says Little Free Library steward Athena Goldapp. “There were sweet treats, drinks, markers, notepads, bookmarks, and of course books for all. One steward put together amazing book bundles [on different themes]. What a great idea! We also had students from a local fourth grade class who got extra credit for attending the crawl.”
Another activity on the tour: Prizes! Individuals who visited three or more Libraries (and got their provided “library cards” stamped) were entered to win merchandise donated by local businesses.
The Coastal Bend group did an excellent job getting the word out about the event, using different methods to invite the community to come enjoy the day.
“We started by sending out a press release to local newspapers, TV, and radio stations,” Goldapp says. “We printed posters, which we put up around town in local bookstores, coffee shops, and schools—basically any place that allowed us to put one up. We have a community Facebook page where we boosted posts about the crawl for a small fee (worth it). Most people found out about our event through the newspaper or Facebook.”
Are you ready to plan a Little Free Library Crawl in your community? Check out these steps to get started:
1. Contact Little Free Library stewards in your area and invite them to participate. Use the world map to find registered Libraries, if you need help tracking them down.
2. Choose a date and time for the Little Free Library Crawl that works well for participating stewards.
3. Ask the Library stewards if they are willing to provide refreshments or an activity (or both!) at their Little Library on the day of the tour.
4. Make a flyer with event details. Include a list of Little Free Library addresses or create a map of their locations. (When my neighborhood hosted a Little Free Library tour in Minneapolis, a local graphic designer made a map for us. You could also hand-draw a simple map.)
5. Ask local businesses if they are willing to donate prizes for people who visit Little Free Libraries on the tour. Also ask if they are willing to hand out the flyer.
6. Contact local media outlets (newspapers, television, and radio) and ask them to help spread the word about your Little Free Library Crawl. Consider creating a Facebook event page to help publicize it.
7. Have fun! A Little Free Library Crawl is a great way to see the Little Free Libraries in your area, spread the word about how they work, and get to know your neighbors!
Thank you to the Little Free Libraries of the Coastal Bend for sharing your story. The Little Free Library Crawl is just one event the group has enjoyed. They also build Libraries for facilities in need, such as their local Ronald McDonald House and women’s shelter. Keep up the great work!
Tell your steward story at: littlefreelibrary.org/stewardstories