Lake Iowa Nature Center is now home to a Little Free Library. You may have noticed more and more of these little boxes popping up in our community and wondered what they were. A Little Free Library is a
“take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around
the world. In fact there are over 60,000 libraries in over 80 countries around the world and over a million books are shared each year!
The general idea behind the Little Free Libraries is to take a book to read in exchange for a book you want to share. It doesn’t require library cards or impose late fines. They don’t insist that patrons whisper or stay quiet, and don’t mind if you do not return a book.
Anyone can start a Little Free Library by either building one or ordering a premade one online. There are endless ways to personalize your library. Are you a muggle passionate about sharing all things Harry Potter? Get out your paint and create a mini Flourish and Blotts. Can’t build a box to save your life? Dig around your attic or garage or the nearest thrift store for useful items to reuse. Little free libraries have been created from mini fridges, hollowed out tree stumps, and old pay phones.
Each little Free Library is registered online and receives a plaque. Once registered they appear on a world-wide map at https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/. The interactive map will show you where all registered Free Little Libraries are located. These book-filled boxes are becoming destinations for bike and walking tours, family tours of small towns, and geocachers.
You can find ours on the front porch stocked with interesting authors just waiting to take you on an adventure.