After touring and admiring so many Little Free Libraries, it’s no surprise that I wanted one of my own. Well, this summer my dream came true when my husband built me my own Little Free Library! The inspiration and centerpiece of the little library is my sister’s rotted 100+-year-old basement window, which my husband painstakingly restored.
Be sure and stop by my library and others if you’re in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho area. I’ve added my location on the Little Free Library Map: https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/ Look us up by zip code 83814.
What is a Little Free Library? Below is an excerpt I lifted right from a LFL flyer.
Although the concept of book exchanges has been around for ages, the term “little free library” was first coined in 2010 when Tod Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, as a tribute to his mother, built a replica of a one-room schoolhouse, filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard with a sign that said “FREE BOOKS.” His friends and neighbors loved it so much that he built several more and the idea spread like wildfire until it has now become a world-wide movement. Bol later founded littlefreelibrary.org, a non-profit organization with a web site where you can register your library for a small fee. It is estimated that only about 1 in 10 libraries actually register yet as of early 2017, the organization reported that over 50,000 libraries have been registered in all 50 states and over 70 countries, with thousands of new applications pouring in every month. A literal “literary” world-wide movement!
Want your own Little Free Library?
If you live in the Spokane, WA or Coeur d’Alene, ID area and want your own Little Free Library but don’t have a husband or handy friend who can build it, I may have just the solution for you. Little Library Builder of Spokane has been building LFLs for years. In Jan’s own words: “My sister and I built our first library three years ago and had so much fun we ended up building a few more. Then a gentleman from the Inlander saw one of our libraries, wrote a lovely article about us, and we've been building them ever since. We recently installed our 50th library and we're still having fun!”
I’ve toured a number of their libraries—and they are awesome! Many of them are made to resemble the owners’ homes, down to the last amazing details. If a “mini-me” LFL is not right for you or if have another plan in mind, not to worry. These talented ladies also custom build other designs.
You can contact them about ordering your own library at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 509-570-3195. Tell them Annette from ReadingintheGarden.blogspot.com sent you.
Here are a couple examples of their masterpieces—both matching the homes.
Making it Official
If you want to make your library official, you’ll have to register it at http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/ By purchasing the Little Free Library sign (a little over $40 for a small sign), you will be registered in the system, which allows you to add your location on the Little Free Library world map. As a registered Little Free Library steward, you can also be part of the exclusive Facebook community for LFL stewards, and you can sign up to receive inspirational emails about Little Free Libraries everywhere.
There are now over 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries in over 70 countries! However, you don’t have to own a Little Free Library to spread the love of reading. If you prefer just visiting them, check out the map and find a location near you. It’s fun to make a day of it as I have a few times in the past or locate them while you’re on vacation. It’s like finding a hidden treasure!
My Little Free Library Tours
Happy Little Free Library Hunting,
Questions or comments? Email Readinginthegarden@gmail.com