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Little Free Libraries Mini Midwest Tour

Connecting with Midwest Readers

You may have read my other posts about Little Free Libraries where you can take a book/leave a book: Little Free Libraries or Coeur d’Alene Update. Well, I just can’t seem to get enough of them.  This fall, my husband and I took a road trip for our vacation traveling from northern Idaho through Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, heading back through Iowa, South Dakota, Montana again and on home. I thought wouldn’t it be fun to make small detours along the way and visit Little Free Libraries all over.  So, I went on the Little Free Library Map and located some “libraries” on the way to our destinations. It’s almost like a treasure hunt. Sounds great! Right? Well, my husband didn’t think so.  With our outdated GPS system and nothing but construction all over, we got lost many times, all the while our GPS lady kept insisting over and over again that we “make the next legal U-turn” to get us back on track. But my husband was such a trouper and despite almost ripping his hair out, we actually made several stops—all different…all wonderful!

Miles City, MT. (2216 Main St)  This Little Free Library is not one I had mapped out.  My husband just happened to spot it on our way out of town; that was the first Little Free Library we saw and he was still up for my game. What a cool find it was—a cute Little Library in front of this stately brick mansion.

I took:   Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds (for my granddaughter)

Fargo, ND.  (1437 S 9th St) What a fun and funky Little Free Library this is!  It’s covered in an array of gems and buttons and eclectic finds like a butterfly, pumpkin, bird nest, and then wrapped in Christmas lights.  So creative!

I left:     Zorro by Isabel Allende (because I figured these people would be adventurous)
I took:   Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi and Ron Barrett (for my granddaughter)

Bemidji, MN (home of Paul Bunyan).  (918 4th St) This Little Library was tucked away on a quiet street that should
have been easy to get to, if it weren’t for our confused GPS.  Unfortunately, we were in such a rush by the time we found it, I didn’t have time to browse for a book.

Becker, MN. (11255 3rd St) This bright and cheery Little Library was in a nice neighborhood in a tiny town we passed on our way to Jordan, MN. 

I took:   One, Two, Three! by Sandra Boynton (for my granddaughter, who is two years old and has other books by this author.)

Minneapolis, MN. (?) I should probably have skipped this Little Library when the address didn’t show up on the map.  While there were endless choices for Little Free Libraries in Minneapolis (the map lit up like a Christmas tree) I could see that this one was really close to our B&B, so we gave it a shot.   The first thing I saw was a Forbes Magazine on display and behind it were real estate and business books—not the usual Little Free Library reading fare. Maybe it was supposed to be more of a private exchange between colleagues?  Needless to say I didn’t take a book, however I did leave one just because we were there.  I wonder if he’ll throw it away. Ha.

Blue Earth, MN. (In the park).  We stopped in this small town to see the Jolly Green Giant Statue. After we took our
That's me by his shoes.
photos with him, we drove around town a bit and saw a park where we decided to eat our lunch under the picnic shelter. On the way out, what do you know, I saw this cute little log cabin library!

I took:   Tailypo: A Ghost Story by Joanna and Paul Galdone (for my granddaughter, who at first was not all that interested in the book, untillllll the old man hid under the covers from the monster—now she can’t get enough of it!)
Storybook Island Park
Rapid City, SD.  Turned out to be a bust, not because they didn’t have any Little Free Libraries, but our GPS couldn’t find one of the streets and the other two were strictly geared towards kids. So I had to skip it because I didn’t bring any kids books.  That’ll teach me.  On my next tour I’ll have to bring a mix.

Belle Fourche, SD.  (717 State St) After our fruitless tour of Rapid City during rush hour, my husband was pretty much done with my Little Libraries. He vowed no more.  My sad eyes (and pleading) must have won him over, though, because the next day he agreed to one last stop in the small town of Belle Fourche.  It was a beautiful way to end the tour!  This shining star of a Little Free Library was a perfect little house with glass door and the icing on the cake was the real American flag flying from it.  I loved it!!  Each book in the library had a little bookmark explaining the Free Little Library concept.  You could tell that whoever is the steward of this library takes great pride in it. So, there I left my last book.   

I took:   His Majesty’s Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal (This time a book for me!)

Tip: I found that on the Little Free Library map, it sometimes worked best to plug in the zip code as opposed to the City/State/Province/Region. Belle Fourche, SD, for example, didn't come up in the city/state field, but did come up when I entered the zip code.
Thank you to everyone who built and shares their Little Free Library, for your creativity and for putting a smile on so many faces—especially mine!!

Happy Reading,



  1. Thanks for the kind words Annette. It makes it all worthwhile to know that people really use the library.
    LaVern Bills, Center of the Nation LFL Steward

  2. What an adventure you had... All for the love of books. How fun.


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