Family Kids Travel

What is a Little Free Library?

Jump-start an excitement of reading in your kids by finding a Little Free Library in your community! It’s a fun, free, family activity!

Are you looking for a fun free activity for your family? Try finding a Little Free Library. It may be a unique enough experience to jump-start an excitement of reading for your kids. 

What is a Little Free Library?

Little Libraries are miniature “homes” that house free books for anyone to take. These Little Libraries are weather proof to keep the books safe. And they often are painted or decorated as an expression of art.

You can find Little Libraries in front yards, neighborhood corners, and sometimes parks. 

Little Free Library’s mission is to get books into the hands of as many children as possible. Their website states, “Two-thirds of America’s children living in poverty have no books at home. Little Free Library book exchanges address the crisis by bringing book access to communities in need.”

Little Libraries have a certain charm about them, and kids love to explore them. Although, they are not only targeted towards children. There is often just as many adult books in them as there are children’s books.   

How do they work? 

Little Libraries work by donations and exchanges. Maybe you’re looking to clear a space on your bookshelf or you’re kids have outgrown their baby books? Instead of donating them to an organization that will try to sell your old books for a profit, you can leave the books in a Little Library for someone else to enjoy for free. 

“Take a book, leave a book” is a common expression posted near the Little Libraries.

These Little Libraries are also a great opportunity to teach kids about how people can work together to make our communities and our world more fun and enjoyable. 

Some parents also use the Little Library as an incentive to get their kids excited to go out on family walks. They walk with their children through the neighborhood, and their stop at the Little Library is the highlight of the trip.    

How do you find a Little Free Library? 

The best way to locate a Little Library is to visit their website at: LittleFreeLibrary.org. They have a map that allows you to search by city or zip code, then it will show you the closest Little Libraries. 

Not only is this a great idea for when you’re in your own neighborhood, but it can also be fun to find Little Libraries while on a vacation or road trip. Then you don’t have to worry about packing books into your limited suitcase space. Just search for the closest Little Library to your next destination. After picking up some new books, you can have fun reading them together. Then return the books to another Little Library at your next stop, or even keep them until you get home and return them to your neighborhood’s Little Free Library. 

How do you create your own Little Free Library? 

If you want to have your own Little Free Library, you can either design and build your own, or you can download design plans from their website at: LittleFreeLibrary.org/start

If assembling your own library seems like too much work, their website also offers premade Little Libraries that you can order. They offer unfinished ones, that you can paint yourself, or already painted and assembled libraries. 

I hope your family has fun using the Little Free Library book exchange, and that it can help spark an interest in books and reading for your kids.

About the author

Candace Groberg

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