Monday, November 4, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 45, Partnering by Creative Means

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

The "Little Free Library" is an organization that, in a nutshell, is a collection of worldwide locations that offer anyone (ANYONE) the opportunity to take a book (or two) and bring a book to share.  The books are housed, as you might guess, in "little houses" - of varied designs.  The idea, among other things, is to solve that problem of, as the Winchester Star puts it:

"When school doors close and the library lights go out for the night, most students have no place to grab a new book."

The Little Free Library website offers a comprehensive map identifying all the LFL's around the world.  In Virginia, there are about 33, including

  • Alexandria
  • Arlington
  • Big Stone Gap
  • Charlottesville
  • Chesapeake
  • Churchville
  • Danville (9!)
  • Fredericksburg
  • Henrico (2)
  • Keysville
  • Leesburg
  • Lexington
  • Lynchburg
  • Mineral
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Richmond (2)
  • Virginia Beach
  • Winchester
There could be more that haven't made it to the map yet.  In fact, Little Free Library believes only about one-fourth of the libraries are actually mapped.

Danville appears to be the most prevalent Little Free Library Virginia community, boasting 9.  And, while most of the LFL's find their homes at private addresses, subdivisions, and schools, there are Virginia LFL's located at an art studio, a Kiwanis club, and even a Starbucks.  Likewise, it appears that some Danville, Lexington, and Winchester parks are homes to LFL's.

It's neat - a collection of literary lovers have established their own library system and become part of a greater good.  There is no need to be a nonprofit or affiliated with some sort of organization - anyone can do it.  By the end of 2013, Little Free Library believes they will have over 15,000 LFL's in 55 countries.  Interested?  Visit their website to get started.  Folks have shared library-box-construction plans, created a Facebook page, and offered instruction.  Then share YOUR story with us!

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