At The Reader Organisation we’re all about sharing literature, whether it be in our weekly shared reading groups or reading poems together in our staff meetings and regular staff Think Days, and another idea is helping to spread the love of reading in communities across the world in a way that makes the most of great books and the surrounding environment.
The Little Free Library originated in Wisconsin, America as a testimony to reading. From a small start, the popularity of Little Free Libraries has grown and there’s now a World Map of them collated, with a total of 15,000 the latest conservative estimate. All the Little Free Libraries are unique, small but perfectly formed and united in an overall mission to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide, while also building a strong sense of community in the sharing not only of books but skills, creativity and wisdom across generations. All values that we wholeheartedly agree with!
Little Free Libraries can be found in all manner of places, working on the concept of ‘take a book, return a book’. Visitors of the Little Free Library are also encouraged to bring back another book to donate and contribute to the collection.
And it turns out that some Little Free Libraries have popped up close to where TRO are based…London’s first Little Free Library has been set up on Powerscroft Road, Clapton in the Borough of Hackney, for both adults and children to participate able to choose from an eclectic selection of books. Other Little Free Libraries have since followed suit, with more book swaps appearing around the capital, including one in Walthamstow on Coppermill Lane. One of our London Team Reader-in-Residences Megg lives close by and snapped some wonderful pictures which show just how cute the Library is.
Also, very near to our base at Calderstones Mansion House is where you’ll find the Little Free Library of Liverpool. Set up by Andy Pearson and his daughter, the Library offers a community book swap with a rather full collection (though they’re always looking for more donations). The popularity of the Little Free Library means that there’s plenty of chances for more Libraries to be set up across the city, but do check them out if you’re in the area: you’ll find them on 14 Middlefield Road, Allerton, or you can check out their blog: http://littlelibraryliverpool.blogspot.co.uk/
Here’s to many more Little Free Libraries in the future!