Little Library

Now that I don’t have to layer up too much, I’m out walking the dog again.  It’s been fun to see the neighborhood anew, although I have to admit, it doesn’t seem as if much has changed in the last few months.

What has changed are the books in the Little Libraries.  These are the little nooks that people have put up in their yards, encouraging folks to take a book or leave a book.  We have a good number of them in the couple-of-mile radius around my house.

I almost never take a book from a Little Library, although occasionally I’ll take one out to flip through it a bit.  I did take an Italian workbook once – no one had done any of the exercises – I work on it occasionally.  I’ve taken a couple of kids books and then returned them to a different little library when I was done with them.  But it’s fun to look.

I have a friend down on the parkway who takes the Little Library concept to a new level.  She actually curates her collection, changing out titles to fit the season or upcoming holiday.  Right now there are a bunch of Easter and Spring titles – she always has some good books for kids.  She has also installed some little string lights in the box, although I’ve never seen it at night to know if it actually lights up.  There is also a tin of dog treats (home made) in her little library and in the summer, a bowl of water underneath for passing dogs. 

So it should have come as no surprise that there is a new addition to her library this week.  A stick library for dogs – photo above.  I couldn’t convince Guinevere to take a stick – she keeps quite busy sniffing while we walk to bother with a stick – although I suppose I could take a stick for her to play with once we get back to our yard.  I did snap the photo and send it off to my friend with a little note of thanks. 

I’m looking forward to this spring and summer to see what else becomes part of the Little Library landscape!

Have you ever taken a book from a Little Library?  Left a book?  Do you have a Little Library at your house? 

34 thoughts on “Little Library”

  1. There are quite a few little libraries in our neighborhood and we have become quite familiar with their locations and their character, passing them as we do on our daily walks. We have both taken books from them and deposited books into them. Some of the libraries are consistently better stocked than others, owing either to their location or curation. Some slowly fill up with the books nobody wants and stay that way indefinitely.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Our local seed library has deposited packets of seeds in a number of the little free libraries throughout the neighborhood. There are all kinds of seeds for both flowers and vegetables.

        Liked by 5 people

  2. No boxes within 6 blocks of here downtown. The few I’ve seen elsewhere have mostly kindergarten level books like War And Peace and Ulysses.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    When I had my practice in St. Paul there were several Little Libraries in the neighborhood where I walked when taking a work break. I borrowed and added to those several times. I just love this little invention. It encompasses the very best of American life in a time when so many negative points were blatantly obvious. Every time I see one of the boxes I feel my spirit lift.

    For the Master Gardener program I am in there are “Walk By” garden projects for public education about gardening. I am considering doing one of those in my front yard and adding a Little Library to it. First though, I must research the rules and limits on those projects.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Seeing the box did remind me of a dog we saw a couple of weeks ago on our walk. It was a big black lab and she had a stick that was probably twice as long as her body. And she was so happy to have the stick -she was just carrying it along and her tail was going like crazy. I had to laugh out loud.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I remember the first time I encountered (perhaps) the predecessor to the LFLs in an airport. I walked by a ledge that had a few books with a “Take one-Leave one” type sign. I was enchanted.

    There are several within walking distance here, too – I sometimes use them as destinations for my walks (I do better when I have somewhere to go) – I take books and return them elsewhere, or I bring something to “flesh out” the selection.

    When a new resident put one up right across the street from another one, I kind of wondered till I got up close – it’s a mini food shelf as Renee mentioned above. I contribute to it when I remember… makes me want to meet the owners.

    I love it when people leave ANYthing for other people to enjoy – some of you may be familiar with Lake Harriet’s elf-door in a tree:

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I had forgotten about BookCrossing. That was the book exchange I think BIR was referring to. It has sort of been subsumed by Little Libraries, but it is apparently still active.

      Completely OT: I was able to get a couple of beautiful bunches of new asparagus at Trader Joe’s this morning. So exciting!

      Liked by 4 people

  5. The local college here has installed boxes on traffic slgns around the campus that hold baggies for people walking dogs to use for dog cleanup. They look like bird houses to me, and I wonder if some enterprising bird hasn’t done that already.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. At the entrance to the Health Partners Specialty Center’s Eye Clinic in St. Paul, there’s a LFL. It looks like it enjoys a lot of activity. I make it a point whenever I have an eye appointment to bring a book or two along to donate to the cause.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. There is a kid-height LFL in the Wellstone Center in my neighborhood. I have noticed when I’ve been there that although it’s a big roomy one, the selection can be pretty thin. So when I see kids’ book in other LFL’s and they seem to be moving slowly, I choose some to relocate. I especially look for kids’ books that are oversized, and someone has put them in a LFL that is really too small for large books, so that they’re diagonally inserted and precluding the optimal use of the space.

    I also check a couple of local Goodwill stores for kids’ books. They price them at 99 cents, and occasionally they have a half price event. I look for titles that they have multiple copies of, especially classics like Charlotte’s Web or the Little Prince, and release them into the LFL world.

    The other LFL that is a sort of adoptee of mine is one at a local church, which has closed the building due to the pandemic. Its window has been broken repeatedly – the LFL , not the church – and each time it’s been broken I’ve replaced it with another acrylic panel. So far I’ve replaced it three times, but the present one has made it through the winter unmolested, so I’m hoping whoever is taking out their anger issues on an undeserving target has lost interest in it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I love the idea of picking up children’s books at Goodwill and depositing them in LFLs. There’s a LFL near a now defunct community garden near me, I used to put cookbooks in that one. My friend, Helen, who used to live down the street from me, maintained her LFL with all children’s books. She kept a pretty close eye on it and made sure it was always well stocked. I know that Kate DiCamillo drives around her neighborhood whenever she has published a new book, and deposits signed copies of them in LFLs. Can you imagine the joy of a kid finding a brand spanking new book, signed by the author in their local LFL?

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Evening-
    No little Library’s around here. 🙂
    I love the idea of a stick library.

    But as for walks in the neighborhood, Our neighbor Rick walks his two new puppies on a route a few miles long, through their property and back on ours, or vice versa depending on which way the wind is blowing.
    And John, from across the road, he walks his dog down our road and back. John and T like to walk this way too. Daughter and the dogs take a walk up the road when the weather is nice and sometimes all the dogs meet. Then Kelly and the dogs walk and sometimes they all meet too.

    It’s just a nice place to walk… plus sticks all over.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. There is another LFL not far from me that has an area for “tiny treasures” – little toys or charms or pieces of jewelry, small things that people are ready to part with.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Where is that, Linda? I might just swing by before my next visit with Philip on Sunday. I have several small treasures that I want to give away.


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