It was a milestone year for the Little Free Library nonprofit organization as we celebrated ten years of Little Free Libraries and reached more than 100 countries! As we wrap up our anniversary year, we’re looking back at 2019’s biggest stories. Here are our top ten:
Talk about a “giving tree”! When a 110-year-old cottonwood tree in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, needed to be removed, Sharalee Armitage Howard—a librarian, artist, and bookbinder—transformed it into an amazing Little Free Library book exchange. The not-so-little library has since gone viral, getting news coverage all over the world.
Thank you to celebrated children’s book author Kate DiCamillo and Candlewick Press for hosting the BIG Kate DiCamillo Little Free Library Giveaway, which granted limited-edition Little Free Library book-sharing boxes to five grand-prize winners who told us something they’ve done to inspire hope in their communities. Thanks also to best-selling author John Grisham and and Doubleday for hosting the Great Grisham Giveaway, which generously provided a full autographed collection of John Grisham’s books to one lucky winner!
This summer, the Little Free Library team was excited to welcome M. Greig Metzger as our new executive director. We look forward to continuing our work with Greig in 2020 to address book scarcity and expand book access to all.
This year introduced two new books about the Little Free Library movement: children’s book Little Libraries, Big Heroes by Miranda Paul and John Parra, and how-to book Little Free Libraries and Tiny Sheds by Philip Schmidt.
Hosted with our friends at Goodreads, “Give a Good Read Week” was a global event encouraged readers everywhere to share books in Little Free Libraries. Even authors like Celeste Ng, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kristin Hannah participated!
We love working with companies that care. In July, employees from communications company Vertical Bridge built 75 Little Free Library book exchanges for high-needs communities in Florida. In November and December, Foresters Financial created 77 Little Free Libraries, which were donated to communities in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Toronto.
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March would approve: This year, the Little Free Library nonprofit organization and Sony Pictures introduced Little Women-themed book-sharing boxes in ten U.S. cities! More than 2,000 Little Women books were donated to these and other Little Free Libraries across the country.
The Smithsonian recently installed a birchbark Little Free Library book-sharing box at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C., donated by the Little Free Library nonprofit organization. The library, part of our Native Library Initiative, was created by Pat Kruse, an Ojibwe birchbark and quillwork artist.
Our Impact Library Program provides no-cost Little Free Libraries full of books to high-needs communities. In 2019, we surpassed 1,000 little libraries granted through this program. Thank you, friends and supporters who have helped us share books where they’re needed most!
Since the first Little Free Library book-sharing box was built by Todd Bol in 2009, more than 90,000 registered Little Free Libraries have been established in over 100 countries around the world. To celebrate our milestone 10th Anniversary, we held the first-ever Todd H. Bol Awards for Outstanding Achievement and celebrated Little Free Library stewards everywhere with monthly book giveaways and more. Thank you for celebrating with us, and here’s to another decade of sharing books!
To help launch us into 2020 and share books where they’re needed most, please consider a contribution to the Little Free Library nonprofit organization. Donate today!