As a child, I vividly remember visiting my first “real” library, around age 7 or 8. My family had just moved into the city after living in the country for several years. When I entered that multilevel building, with all of its windows and shelves, and colourful displays … it was love at first sight. I went home with my arms full, and kept going back for more. I can only imagine how delighted I would have been to have a Little Free Library in my own neighbourhood growing up.

What Is A Little Free Library?

Maybe you’ve seen one of these precious book hideouts near you and been curious about it’s purpose. They come in all colours, shapes and designs and can be found in shared community spaces as well as on front yards in neighbourhoods.

The concept is simple, in that it is basically a book sharing hub. Take a book, share a book. It’s a great way to keep the reading options fresh in your home without having to go far, without having to spend money, and without having to worry about late fees!

There are over 100,000 sharing boxes worldwide, and about 3 dozen registered in the Edmonton area already. If you’re not sure where to find one near you, check out the handy search tool and map on the Little Free Library website. Or, if you have a desire to build and maintain one on your own property, you can find helpful information to get you started here.

Raising A Generation Of Readers

When our community built it’s first Little Free Library, my kids and I were eager to check it out. We went through our stacks of books at home and chose a few that were no longer being loved by us. Then we rode our bikes down the pathway to find the adorable red house shaped box on a pole. It was like a treasure hunt for my little ones as they rooted around to each find something that interested them. We have since been back too many times to count over the years. We have especially loved finding special surprises left behind … like colouring books and packages of stickers!

The Little Free Library movement continues to grow and inspire the next generation to develop a love for reading. But more than that, it is bringing communities together by encouraging people to share and give from what they have. So next time you see one of these curious little shelters along a pathway or on someone’s yard – check it out and join the Little Free Library community!