Little Free Library

I mentioned the little libraries in my last post and promised another post about them. This is that post.

Inman Park Public Library

At most libraries you check out a book and are obligated to return it within a certain period, usually two or three weeks. But what if you could keep a library book? Or check out a book, keep it as long as you like, then return it to another branch?

Miniature libraries provide exactly this. Folks build a decorative box out of whatever materials they like, then stick some books in it and display it wherever they like, usually on their own property or at a school. These boxes don’t have to be big or decorative, but attractiveness does help so people can spot it. As long as the box is protected from the elements, can protect the books from the same, and won’t move easily, then it’s in good shape. Fill it with some books and watch as people occasionally stop by to give or take a book.

Grant Park library at Berne St Grant Park Library at Pavillion St Grant Park Library at Grant Park Place

Little Free Library is probably the best-known version of the project, and there are instructions on the site for building a box and getting your library included in their database. For the library hunters, you can check out the map and see if there are any near you.

There are quite a few in Atlanta and I’ve visited about ten of them so far. You can see which ones I’ve visited on my photo site. While I haven’t taken a book out of every library, I have donated books to a few of them, and I’ll probably donate books back when I finish reading the books I’ve found. I’ve also talked to a couple of the library owners and run into a couple of miniature library fans by chance.

These libraries are also a good way to get rid of just a few unwanted books. If you’re lucky you may even meet a fellow book lover.

The main downside of these libraries is the limited selection within a library. This is an inherent property of a library that’s limited to what is essentially a wooden box.

Overall, I like what these libraries adds to the community, so go check one out if there’s one near you.

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