Lately, miniscule book-laden edifices have been popping up throughout North Dakota in towns like Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Harvey, Hazen, Lisbon, West Fargo, and Wyndmere. These Little Free Libraries are borne of an enthusiasm for reading, a love of sharing, and a borderline obsessive passion for everything public libraries represent. They’re also a wonderful opportunity for outreach, promotion, and community partnerships with your library!
What is a Little Free Library? Well, they’re a composite of a building on a stick, a work of art, and a volunteer-run distributed system helping make tangible books freely and easily available to all. They’re fun eye-catching structures facilitating community-building around reading. By enabling the free exchange of books amongst all who stumble upon them, they promote literacy, spark creativity, and stir the imagination. Like libraries of any size, they allow neighbors to share skills and emotional experiences, explore ideas and worlds, and develop a deeper appreciation of what it means to be human.
Beyond this, they’re an awesome opportunity to raise community awareness of local public libraries! They’re also a great means of forging partnerships between your library and local businesses. If you’d like to learn more about how this is possible, check out what the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library has done! To read more about the Little Free Library movement, click here. (Note that as of this post, they are experiencing issues with their mapping software, so numerous Little Free Libraries that are operational and reported remain unmapped and un-indexed).