I am sure many of you have heard about free book exchanges over time but do you know about Little Free Libraries? And did you know you could have one in your yard?

I am not sure exactly when I saw my first one in the Hudson Valley but it was definitely during the COVID-19 Pandemic. I was driving down the road and noticed that there was a little adorable cupboard designed like a house standing on a pedestal in a person's yard. As I drove by it caught my eye but admittedly I went by so fast I didn't get a good look.

The next time I went by I slowed down and notice the little house was full of books. I thought, well isn't that clever. We are all in lock down and social distancing but if you are out on a neighborhood walk, which we all were back then, you could pick yourself up a new book.

photo credit Photo by Islander Images on Unsplash
photo credit Photo by Islander Images on Unsplash

So what is a Little Free Library? It is a way to share free books. The idea is that people can take a book or leave a book. The Little Free Library was created in 2009 by Todd Bol. You can read about Todd and his founding of the Little Free Library movement here in an article that was shared with me by Todd's sister-in-law Eden Penn-Bol. It is also a nonprofit organization that has been around since 2012 according to the Little Free Library Facebook page.

The Little Free Libraries have a whole network of libraries worldwide, more than 100,000 and growing. If you have never seen one you have to visit their Facebook page or website to see how clever people can be when putting one together. The also have an interactive map for you to find the libraries near you.

So if you are thinking this is a cool idea then you want to look into the Elting Memorial Library's Little Free Library Event. They want to build Little Free Libraries and place them around New Paltz. They are looking people to donate so that they can build the library boxes and fill them with books.

Next time you are out driving around slowdown and take a look it may surprise you how many of these little libraries are out there offering people free books to enjoy.

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