Friday, November 15, 2013

The Little Free Library

It's a birdhouse! It's a mailbox! No, it's a library!

Adorning lawns across the country are miniature libraries; each one of them containing 20-100 free books! The Little Free Library was invented in 2009 in Wisconsin as a way to encourage reading. It's easy to use; you can just exchange one of your already-read books for one you are willing to read, and if you happen to not be equipped with a book of your own, you may acquire one and return it eventually. No need to pay, although many leave donations and kind notes anyway. It is a simple alternative to a full-scale library, as the structure requires no card or membership.

The original little libraries are modeled after houses, many are constructed from repurposed bird houses. The charm of the design has brought countless visitors to these two-foot cabinets. Now, architecture varies from spheres to cabins to phone booths. Most have two-stories, supplying both children and adults. Entire tours have been inspired over the small libraries; of which no two look alike. 

It is common for mini libraries to be placed on a post. Schoolhouse and telephone booth designs remain popular.

All Little Free Library owners are encouraged to register their masterpieces online so they can be easily found by avid readers. There are several handfuls in the Bay Area; a couple of them registered in San Francico. Quite a few have been built in Italy, Ghana, and Ukraine. Hillwood plans to build one in the near future. By the end of this year, there will be an estimated 15000 built across the entire globe.

How To Build a Little Free Library

This is a simple variation that can be constructed by anyone with fair experience in woodwork. It can be decorated in any way desired, and stuffed with old books.

1. Cut several pieces of wood in preferred measurements. Leave out the front wall; you will cover it later.

2. Using a drill, bore a small hole at every point that will connect.

3. Attach the walls with screws.

4. Acquire four planks with the same measurements as the back, and adhere them together, along with an equally-sized plexiglass board.

5. Divide the container into sections with wooden boards. Use wood glue or nails for this task. With two small hinges, connect the door to the library.

You now have a mini library! It will encourage reading (and tourists). Enjoy!

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