While strolling through the wilds of Regent Square last summer, I discovered what looked like a little birdhouse perched on a well-manicured lawn. But the little house was filled with books, and above the door was a sign that read “Little Free Library.” Although my own neighborhood is located near four wonderful libraries (C.C. Mellor, Swissvale, Wilkinsburg, and Squirrel Hill), the idea of a personal lending library in my front yard sounded like a great idea. And so, with a little amateur carpentry and an armful of books:
Little Free Library Charter #3059 is open for business in Edgewood!
You can purchase a library already constructed or download blueprints to build your own. We currently have ours covered with lights for the holiday season, but we have plans for a spring remodel if and when the snow finally melts.
Our library has been a wonderful way to clear out our overloaded bookshelves, meet some new neighbors, and pass on the joy of reading. We’ve had some anonymous donations of books and magazines as well, left behind by generous passers-by. I’m happy to report that our biggest “movers” are children’s and young adult books.
The Little Free Library organization has, as part of its mission, a goal to build more than 2,510 libraries around the world–more than Andrew Carnegie–and then even more. Happily, the original goal was reached in 2012 with libraries throughout the United States, Germany, Canada, Ghana, Pakistan, Haiti, Lithuania, and many other countries. Interested? Visit their website for information on how you can become your own library director, or donate a library to an underserved community anywhere in the world.