Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Little Free Libraries
If you've read my books (or browsed this blog), you know how much I love libraries. In fact, I credit the library in my hometown of Sylva, North Carolina, with keeping me out of juvie for seventeen years. (When I get bored, I start causing trouble. Just ask my mom.) The subjects I discovered at the Sylva library are the same ones that continue to fascinate me. (Ghosts, reincarnation, Bigfoot, aliens, mythology, sinister secret societies.) Even the old movies they showed on Tuesdays have been feeding my imagination for decades. (Brigadoon, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Bringing Up Baby, and my all-time favorite . . . the original Clash of the Titans.)
These days, every time I step into a library, my brain begins to tingle. I can't help but imagine that there's some strange, magical book tucked away in the stacks, just waiting for me to discover it.
This morning, I felt a similar sensation when I stumbled across an article about an amazing organization/movement called Little Free Libraries. The idea is super simple. You build a little library (like the one shown above), fill it with the books you love, and let your neighbors borrow them.
Just imagine . . . You're young, bored, and up to no good. (As I often was.) You're wandering around, looking for mischief when you happen to spot an unusual structure just off the path, half-hidden by trees. Turns out, there's a library where you'd never have expected to find one. You have no idea who built it. (Book-loving wood sprites? A wise, cave-dwelling hermit? Aliens who happen to speak the same language that you do?) You take a peek over your shoulder. No one is watching. So you open the door and find the library is filled with weird and wonderful books that you suddenly can't wait to read.
Want to change a kid's life? That's one way to do it.
Maybe I'll build my own library. (This is my Year of Adventure.) I wonder what my Brooklyn neighbors would think.
In the meantime, if you have started your own Little Free Library, and you would like to include a copy of Kiki Strike, send a picture of your library to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll send you a book. (Offer only good until I go broke.)