After reading about the idea, St. Paul-ite Paul Rogne was inspired to build a little free library in his yard.
The lending libraries, which resemble a cross between a mailbox and a birdhouse, offer books for passersby to exchange.
All over the globe, the Little Free Library
movement, which started off as a two-person project, is taking off.
When they introduced the first little free library a couple of years ago, the movement’s originators, Todd Bol and Rick Brooks, who are based in Madison, Wis., probably had no idea it would spread as it has.
It turned out to be a relatively easy, grassroots way to encourage reading and community. Today, they have a goal of establishing at least 2,510 little free library boxes worldwide. To register or find the lending libraries, people can search a map on their website.
In St. Paul, Rogne put the finishing touches on the literary lawn ornament this week.
The little free libraries have a slogan, “Take a book, leave a book,” which appealed to Rogne, and his wife, Barb, both of whom are avid readers.
“We love to share good books,” he says via email, adding, “Used bookstores pay so little that we would rather just give them away to others who want to read them.”
The little free library is also a fun way to connect with neighbors, he says. Plus, his neighborhood gets plenty of foot traffic. A couple others are close to his house, too. “We think having this little library along our sidewalk will get good use.”
Also nearby, a group of students and educators constructed a number of the little free libraries in St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood as a part of the 23rd annual National Service-Learning Conference
and youthrive PeaceJam Leadership Conference
that took place on April 14, according to a recent Pioneer Press story
The libraries that they decorated have been planted in the neighborhood's various community garden spaces.
“Maybe this will catch on and spread,” Rogne says. “Wouldn’t that be terrific?"
Source: Paul Rogne
Writer: Anna Pratt