My hat is off to Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization providing materials, instructions and support for your own front yard self-serve library.
LFL’s, as they’re called, are popping up all over my Minneapolis neighborhood and, according to organizers, the concept is spreading rapidly to other cities and towns across the nation. The little birdhouse-like structures can be installed in your front yard where you fill it with books and invite passersby to “take a book, leave a book.”
The concept was created by the Little Free Library organization “to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide,“ and “to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity, and wisdom across generations.” And it looks like it’s working; a neighbor of mine said he sees books coming and going constantly in his LFL and he hasn’t lost a single book to theft.
Some people choose a theme for their LFL like cooking, science or favorite books from childhood. But most share a miscellaneous mix of titles that others may enjoy.
Kits can be ordered from their website or you can build your own and register it as an official Little Free Library (directions and suggestions are available on the website). Also available from the website are spine labels for your books marking them as LFL books and “not available for resale.”
And, as a bonus, they make your front yard look so darn cute!