All over the world, people are actively seeking ways to enhance a sense of community. Synchronicity plays a big part in how various concepts and ideas emerge and “catch fire”. In 2009, two men in Wisconsin began to building the first dollhouse-sized Little Free Libraries and also encouraged others to do the same. Their mission was to promote literacy and the love of reading by encouraging the building and placing of these small book exhanges, worldwide. They wanted people to join in, building stronger neighborhoods as they shared their skills, creativity and wisdom across generations. Their goal was to encourage and coordinate the installation of 2,510 Little Free Libraries – as many as were once built by Andrew Carnegie. Nobody could not have predicted the huge success. Just five years later, in January 2014, there are between 10,000 and 12,000 Little Free Libraries, internationally. We wanted to be a part of the excitement!
John designed our Little Free Library and built it entirely from available scrap materials. He used our own leftover, cedar house siding on the library’s exterior and lined the inside with veneer from the back of IKEA shelving, sealing all the joints and nail holes as he went along (it gets wet in Seattle).
He designed and built the door to seal out the weather. Plexiglas was used for the window and a small magnet prevents the door from blowing open.
Our library passed many inspections by cats with high standards! The roof shingles are leftovers from our roof. John built a sturdy, craftsman-style stand, attached to a 4x4. This was set securely into a two-feet deep posthole packed with dry Sakrete.
Go to the Little Free Library website to learn much more. You’ll find history, a world map of little libraries and their hosts, as well as information on how to register your library, instructions on how to construct a library and even a place to order a library, should you not wish to make your own!