Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tiny libraries

A young man who is part of the homeschooling community in the Portland area, just completed his Eagle Scout project. What did he create?

A book box! A free lending library, at the edge of a parking lot. Leave a book, take a book. Open to all. Also, adorable.

I'd never heard of this mini-library box phenomenon before, but it turns out there are several in our fair city. It's another fabulous Portland trend. There have also been sightings of mini-libraries in the United Kingdom and  Wisconsin. (Hey, I've lived both those places! Coincidence? We'll never truly know.)

I'm in love with this idea. I want to build one in my front yard so my neighbors can take my books away when I'm done with them.

But I also want to build planter boxes, and the set of bookshelves we bought from Ikea two years ago. Get in line, book box. You'll have to wait your turn on Ali's procrastination list.

Luckily, according to this article in The Oregonian there are 9 other book boxes in the Portland area. So while I'm working on those planter boxes and shelves, I think I'll make it a mission to find these library boxes and drop off a few books at each one. Goodness knows I have a few around here to contribute!

Edited to add: I found more tiny libraries at Reader Buzz! Also a whole website devoted to Little Free Libraries! And, Deb Nance at Reader Buzz is way more on the ball than I am, because she already started making her own.

by Alison Jakel


  1. I've got one in my dining room ready to put up in the park of our neighborhood. I'm just waiting for some muscle to help me.

  2. Oh, that makes me so happy, Kathy! Did you post about it? I'll have to go back and check.

  3. I love this idea! My library has a take-a-book-leave-a-book shelf, but it's mostly full of mass market paperback romances and stuff. I'd love to see a box like this in our town with more variety.

  4. Kim, Our library has those free shelves too, as do several coffee shops. But there's something about a little hut just for books, that makes me smile.

  5. So awesome - I wish we had those near me. On a side note, I can't tell you how glad I am to see you blogging again! Somehow your blog was gone from my GR so I didn't realise it at first, but that's all been fixed now :D

  6. Thank you, Ana! I'm not surprised I fell off your reader after that long of a gap! I'm slowly but surely making the rounds to all my old favorite bloggers and commenters, so people will know I'm back. :)

  7. How adorable is that first little mini library? I want. :-D

    And welcome back! (I am slow with the follow-up these days.)