I LOVE my job, and one of those things that I find the most rewarding is being able to share my love of reading with students. But my love for reading does not have to stop with sharing it with students, I am thrilled to be able to share with you something I recently learned about.
There is an exciting movement that began back in 2009 with Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin. He 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. Rick Brooks, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, saw Bol’s do-it-yourself project while they were discussing potential social enterprises. Together, the two saw opportunities to achieve a wide variety of goals for the common good. Each brought different skills to the effort, Bol as a creative craftsman experienced with innovative enterprise models and Brooks as a youth and community development educator with a background in social marketing.
They were inspired by many different ideas:
Andrew Carnegie’s support of 2,509 free public libraries around the turn of the 19th to 20th century.
The heroic achievements of Miss Lutie Stearns, a librarian who brought books to nearly 1400 locations in Wisconsin through “traveling little libraries” between 1895 and 1914.
“Take a book, leave a book” collections in coffee shops and public spaces.
In just three years, the non-profit Little Free Library has helped open 30,000 micro-libraries cared for by dedicated volunteer stewards who build literacy-friendly neighborhoods. They’ve reached every U.S. State and Canadian province plus 80 other countries around the world.
Want to find a local “Little Free Library” ion your area? Click here to find one near you!
What an awesome way to promote literacy for ALL!
To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.
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Images and information obtained from their website and social media pages.