Wednesday 11 June 2014
Blog Every Day in June Day 11 : Little Free Library
A curious thing is happening all around the world. Small decorated boxes are popping up all over the place, dotted amongst communities and suburban streets, filled with books. The Little Free Library project runs on the motto of 'give a book, take a book' to "promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide". Current numbers in 2014 are estimated at around 15,000 little libraries, looked after by the people in the community. I have to admit, looking at their pinterest page fills me with glee at seeing dozens and dozens of photographs of the tiny little miniature houses and decorated containers lovingly created to protect these books, each with their own personality.
But are they really libraries? In the interest of balance, I read a short but interesting blog post by Joe Hardenbrook suggesting that while they have their merits they are not libraries and are no replacement for a public library service. What are your thoughts? It's also worth listening to this brief NPR radio spot about LFL featuring people who use them and look after them in the US.
I've always loved the concept of a similar idea to LFL called Bookcrossing, where books are registered online, labelled and left on purpose in a public place (park benches, bus stops) for a serendipitous encounter with a bookworm stranger.
Have you spotted a Little Free Library or 'caught' a book via Bookcrossing?
PS: Look what happened when a group of architects held a design competition for ten specially commissioned LFL around New York last year.
-Maria Savvidis @m_savvidis
Social Media Officer, ALIA Sydney