A Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and take a book and return a book to share with their neighbors. It began in 2009, when Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it. He built several more and gave them away. Each one had a sign that said “Free Books”.
The newest Little Free Library in Wisconsin was established last month at the Cable Community Farm. It’s steward is Carla Peterson, who lives in Cable and is active in many aspects of community life. “The best thing about the Cable Community Farm Free Little Library is that the love of reading will spread throughout our community!” says Peterson. “My Little Free Library, I hope, will be GREAT reading for young kids and adults, to help everybody read more freely without book fines!” Not only are there no fines for overdue books, but the Little Free Library is open twenty-four hours a day and no library card is needed. The box itself was donated by a program through the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and was made by inmates who are learning carpentry skills while incarcerated.
The mission of the Little Free Library is to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community by sharing skills, creativity and wisdom across generations. Today, Little Free Library is a Wisconsin nonprofit corporation with tax-exempt status from the IRS. By January of 2014, the total number of registered Little Free Libraries in the world is conservatively estimated to be between 10,000 and 12,000, with thousands more being built every week.
For more information about Little Free Libraries, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org. You can also “like” the Cable Community Farm Little Free Library on Facebook. If you have a few books to donate, just bring them by and put them into the box!