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Little Free Libraries Popping Up In Twin Cities

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the past year hundreds of libraries have opened up in the Twin Cities. These libraries, however, are much small than traditional ones and are popping up in neighborhoods around the world.

Recently, a group of sixth-graders at Field School in south Minneapolis were waiting patiently and with book in hand for one of these Free Little Libraries to open.

“I’m going to start using this to help me read more,” said one student.

Encouraging kids to read is one of the reasons this not for profit organization, Little Free Libraries, has helped to put up thousands around the world. These tiny wood structures looks more like big birdhouses than little libraries.

Many of them are donated by businesses and groups such as Boy Scouts of America. The one at Field School stands about 5 feet and can hold a few dozen books.

“I only planned on building one,” says Todd Bol, who helps coordinate new LFL sites in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In the summer of 2011, there were only a few libraries in the Twin Cities. One year later, there are hundreds in Minnesota.

No library card is needed. Anyone can take a book as long as they return it.

“Before school in the morning or after school, you can just go get a book and bring one back. It’s pretty cool,” says Rianna Huidian, a sixth-grader at Field School.

The books are donated.

“In Minneapolis, we’ve had books sponsored by Coffee House Press for the last year and we usually give them out as a starter piece,” says Bol.

Each little library has a steward who watches over it. Many of them are put up in people’s yards and are filled with their own books. Other people may leave a book at the library for others to borrow.

Those sixth-graders with books all put them in their new little library at Fields.

“I have a lot of books,” says Emma Hurbanis, a sixth-grader at Fields. “If I’ve already read them and get tired of them and I can bring it here for someone else to enjoy,” she adds. “It’s kind of like everybody wins.”

To find a map of Little Free Libraries as well as information on how to put one up in your neighborhood, visit this website.

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