Todd Bol started the Little Free Library movement in Hudson, Wisconsin in 2009 by building a small one-room schoolhouse on a post in his front yard. The schoolhouse was filled with books with a sign reading, “FREE BOOKS.” His mother, an educator and avid reader inspired the project. Rick Brooks of the University of Wisconsin – Madison reached out to Bol and together they founded an organization that inspired 36,000 community-based projects to engage neighbors and encourage reading.
The concept is simple, “Take a book, Leave a book.” Visiting a Little Free Library is always a surprise, because you truly don’t know what you will find.
Individuals, organizations youth groups, and schools build the libraries, install them, and maintain them. As stewards, they keep an eye on the library and restock it as needed.
Keep your eye open as you drive around for Little Free Libraries or use this Little Free Library locator to find one. Each one is unique in it’s offering and it’s design. Part of the fun is to see what creativity the builder infused into the project – some look like large birdhouses on a post, mimic the architecture of a nearby building, appear to whimsical creations or provide nearby seating
To find children’s books, look for one at or near a school. Detroit, Michigan plans to install a Little Free Library at all 97 of their public schools.
If you’re on vacation and run out of reading materials, look up a nearby Little Free Library and see what people in your vacation area are reading.
If you’ve got a pile of books you’re no longer reading, share the love and stock a Little Free Library.
Reading encourages children’s language development, engages critical thinking skills and introduces new vocabulary. Seek new adventures by visiting a Little Free Library today.
Jann Fujimoto, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and owner of SpeechWorks LLC, a provider of on-site speech therapy in Dousman, Pewaukee, Hartland, Dousman, Delafield, Watertown, Oconomowoc and Ixonia. SpeechWorks helps children become confident communicators and empowers parents to be advocates for their children.