Hey! It's National Library Week. I'm going to assume that this includes all libraries, including Little Free Libraries :-).
I love books. Actually, I love GOOD books. And really bad ones, too. It's usually only the most middling, luke-warm, cliche-spouting books I destroy in my crafting exploits. They had it coming ...
-- Yes, I'm looking at you, Nicholas Sparks.
When I was young, I thought of each book as a world. Just a flip of the cover and I could be somewhere safe. I'd hunker down under the covers and steady the flashlight in the crook of my elbow. Soon I'd be on Prince Edward Island with Anne. Or marooned with Robinson Crusoe. Maybe I'd be drinking goat's milk with Heidi. Or stuck in some horrible incest-filled V.C. Andrews nightmare (Why did I read that! Ugh!). At some point, the flashlight would either start to sputter or burn my face. That's how I knew it was time to actually fall asleep.
Reading was more than a pastime. It was an escape. So, I'm not being hyperbolic when I say I love books. I really do.
There was a study that correlated the amount of books in a child's home to their academic achievement (link here). If easy access to books can help kids do better in school, how do we get books into their hands? What if their parents can't afford to buy books of their own? What if they can't get to the library very often, or if they have too many fines from late returns?
Easy answer: Support a Little Free Library!
What are Little Free Libraries? They're small book nests that can be built on your property (better check with your city, first! Some municipalities have tried to make people take their LTF's down!). These small lending libraries survive on the honor system - Take a book, Leave a book.
In my experience, children's books are usually taken, not left or returned! That's fine. I am 100% in favor of kid's having books to read! I just try to stockpile kid's books as well as I can. Sometimes I get donations (AwesomeSauce) but I still buy hundreds of books secondhand. Thank goodness for book sales!
I keep a good mix of books ready-to-go in an old suitcase. Easy to roll out to the park or throw in a car trunk.
Here's a box of donated books - I stamp each one so people (hopefully) remember to bring them back when their kids have grown out of them:
Here's another pic of the LTF in my neighborhood. My super talented, smart and fun neighbor with always-perfect hair (who happens to share my name!) built and installed this library in the neighborhood park. She is just the best.
Here are a few others in the area! These photos aren't so great - took them with my phone. Sorry!
Building a library is a great way to showcase your creativity! Use metal, an old tree trunk, or a cabinet. Or make it from a kit and add a tiny mural. The most important thing is that it's weather-tight. Keep the books nice and dry.
For pictures, ideas and building plans (to buy), go to the Little Free Library Blog.
Remember, you don't need to build a Little Free Library to help foster a love of reading. If you see reasonably-priced kid's books at a thrift store or garage sale, just pick up a few for a LTF near you :-).