We decided it’d be fun to check out Little Free Libraries that have been popping up around the city- and nationwide. (LFL can stand for these structures or “Libraries for Life,” which is practically our motto.)
We ended up visiting 4 Little Free Libraries, each one with their own distinct style and characteristic. These LFL’s weren’t set up because our library is lacking- far from it!- but to have another venue promoting literacy and encouraging reading within the community. The basic premise is you can borrow a book and/or add one to the collection.
We were impressed by the mix of titles. These weren’t just shabby and rejected books but newer releases, classics, hardcovers, paperbacks, nonfiction, fiction, kids, young adult, etc. One of them even put a notebook where passersby/patrons can leave their comments, which I thought was a brilliant idea!
This library hop gave us a reason to explore the various neighborhoods Portland has to offer. And, there were definitely adventures- involving crossing a rather dangerous intersection over and over looking for a phantom LFL and getting lost from time to time. But they also resulted in discovering a Book,Zine and Treasure Exchange housed in an old mailbox, a wonderfully decorated Poetry Post, and spending some time playing in the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden and Fountain!
-excerpt, June 13, 2012
One of my friends (here dubbed Pearl so I’m therefore Marley) and I love the libraries. We had an annual tradition of visiting lots of libraries in one day (library hopping). I’ll write about them another time but this one focused on Little Free Libraries.
I was pleasantly surprised when I ran across one on my way to work this past weekend. It’s always a thrill to discover one on your own!
A regular customer came in the next day and we got to talking about LFL’s and, lo and behold, it was hers! I’ve always wanted to get to talk to their owners and see why they decided to put one up but I’m not the kind of person to start conversations with complete strangers.
She told me she had planned on surprising her husband with an LFL for Father’s Day. But he had entered his name into a drawing where the children’s museum was giving some away- and he won one! (She even gave me another location of one which wasn’t on the official map yet so I ended up visiting that a few days later. This LFL belonged to her sister-in-law.)
I hope this showed how awesome Little Free Libraries are- the way they can bring people together and spark book talks and friendships!