Neighborhood Little Free Library
Self: A creature of others' support and inspiration. Lots of impressive titles :) but my favorite is National Garden Crusader (I'm a terrible gardener but avid promoter of community gardening and connecting people through common interests) Founding board member of Envest Microfinance Coop, Youth Communication, Dane Co. Buy Local, TimeBank and a few other groups. Chair of Sarvodaya USA www.sarvodayausa.org
More important, this project: Little Free Library--a friendly way to promote a sense of community, support reading for children, literacy for adults and libraries around the world. We started out calling them Habitats for the Humanities and Houses of Stories, but Little Libraries is the name that stuck.
In short, the idea is for people to share good books through free exchanges that they help create for their front yards, bike and walking paths, bus stops,gardens,parks, coffee shops and community center. Each Little Library is just that, a small (maybe 2'x 2'x2') structure full of books. Some are built by an Amish carpenter, many are built by Do It Yourselfers and others like vocational students, woodworkers and carpenters who just want to be part of the "pay it forward" approach. Some LFLs look like log cabins or one-room schoolhouses on a post. Others look like models of classic Greek revival libraries. We're hoping to see structures that look like either the Taj Mahal or Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. Maybe they will be like dog houses or art pieces that contain books--about 20-30 books each.
They operate with a "take a book, leave a book" system. Nobody can steal the books because they are free, provided by kids and adults from their own collections, often with notes telling why they donated the books. Authors and illustrators are offering free copies, too. Book collections seem to turn over two or three times a month. People love the idea of contributing books as much as borrowing them.
Each Library can have its own theme. Imagine one all about dogs, for example--novels (White Fang, or my fave, Harry the Dirty Dog), poetry, "how-to" books; you name it. Or a Library all about peace and justice, or women's history, or knitting, or village life around the world, or...
Every registered LFL will be on a Google map with GPS coordinates and will have a photo and story on a Facebook page. Our goal is to "endow" at least 2,510 of these (more than Andrew Carnegie! Awesome!) and we're on our way with the first 23 already.
Funded by Chicago, IL (July 2011)