News / USA

Little Free Libraries Promote Love of Books

Liitle Free Libraries Share Love of Booksi
X
May 24, 2013 2:03 PM
Little wooden boxes shaped like birdhouses are popping up on street corners across the United States and around the world. They’re not to nurture birds, but brains. Individuals or groups of neighbors create, stock and restock these little libraries for whoever needs a book to read. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the little free libraries have a mission; sharing the love of reading and building a strong community. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Liitle Free Libraries Share Love of Books
Faiza Elmasry
What looks like a little red birdhouse with a pitched roof sits on a post outside Centreville Elementary School in Virginia, attracting a lot of attention. But there are no birds inside.

The wooden box contains about two dozen children’s books. Any child in the community who wants to read is welcome to pick one.

Promoting love of reading

This little free library was built as a service project by a group of young Girl Scouts at the school.

“It was kind of a challenge,” said Kyra Gosney, one of the scouts. "We had to paint it. We had to attach everything together.”

For Isabella Sursi, it was a learning experience.

“We had to make sure we knew what we were doing," Sursi said. "And we had to discuss the details before we actually did anything with it.”

Her mother, Stephanie Sursi, says - even in this relatively wealthy community - the library serves a purpose.

“There are still children whose parents work two jobs or don’t take them to the library or who simply don’t think of books as presents.”

The girls have collected more than 400 books so far, so they can make sure there is always a wide variety of material in their little library. School librarian Sheri D’Amato monitors what’s placed inside to make sure the books are appropriate for the kids and their reading levels.

“We want kids to have access to books all the time. The school library is not always open," said D'Amato. "We’re not here on the weekend; we’re done by about 4:10 each day. And the public library is not open all the time. These little libraries are always open. You don’t need a card. You don’t need any money.”

Unexpected places

These little free libraries can be found all over, even in unexpected places. To share her love of reading, Kristen Brabrook created one in the bakery she manages in Reston, Virginia.

“I am a huge book lover," she said. "I own more books than individual pieces of clothing.”

When she read an article about free little libraries, she knew she wanted one.

“I live in an apartment building," Brabrook said. "So I wasn’t really able to do that, but I thought we could bring it into the store.”

She continues to buy books in order to keep her library fresh and appealing.

“People come in, usually, for cupcakes," Brabrook said. "They'll see the library. They always ask if it costs something, and we say, ‘No, help yourself, please take it.’”

One of the shop’s regular customers, Collin Chartier likes the idea. “I think it’s nice. It’s not necessary, but it kind of makes the atmosphere a little bit better.”

Little free libraries

The idea behind the little free libraries was born three years ago in Hudson, Wisconsin, when former teacher and book lover built a miniature model of a library.

“I originally built a library to honor my mother," said Todd Bol. "I built one and put in out in the front yard and never planned on building another one.”

But his neighbors loved the little wooden box with the books, and that inspired him to set up the Little Free Library Organization to spread the idea. There are now more than 2500 little libraries across the US and beyond.

“We’ve been called by the Huffington Post 'a growing international phenomenon,'” Bol said.

Getting young people excited about the concept keeps the trend growing.

Kendall Claar, who built Centreville Elementary’s little free library with her friends, says she will miss it next year, when she’s in middle school.

“It’s good to know there’s always going to be a piece of me here for me to like be remembered by,” she said.

And that's a happy ending, in any book.

You May Like

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid