AmericanTown's Heroes: Little Free Library Building Is Booming!

Clubs and Organizations

March 16, 2016

Reading is exercise for your brain and it has many other benefits, including improving your memory, increasing your vocabulary and reducing your stress levels.

Organizations like Reading is Fundamental and Reading Rockets work to provide books and reading resources to help children develop their ability to read. Many other organizations exist across the country, but the most recent one taking shape in various forms is the Little Free Library organization.

It was only in 2009 that Todd Bol built a miniature version of a one-room school house, filled it with books and hosted it in his front yard. He did it to honor his Mom who was a school teacher with a love of reading. Friends and neighbors expressed their delight, which led to more boxes built and distributed and the movement was born.

Bol's goals include recognizing a local hero named Miss Lutie Stearns who operated "traveling little libraries" in Wisconsin between 1895 and 1914 as well as Andrew Carnegie who supported the creation of 2,509 libraries between 1883 and 1929.

What's fun about little free libraries is they can be decorated to complement the design and style of the location and filled with books to suit the age and interests of the readers. Bol is currently on a mission to bring 1,000 Little Free Libraries to Texas, thanks to the generous donation of a local benefactor.

You can support that effort or find a template for building a Little Free Library of your own and register your box with the folks who started the movement. You can also get advice about the permissions you may need before opening your little free library to the public.

Do you know someone who helps children and adults learn to love to read? Nominate them for next week's AmericanTown's Heroes.