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 kikistrike@gmail.com, and I'll send you a book. (Offer only good until I go broke.)


dramadrama123 said...

I just wanted to say I <3 your blog and books :) Unfortunately my neighborhood is a little too busy to build a mini library, but on my friend's quiet, flower-filled street, there's a wishing well- a place where neighbors leave clothes and books for anyone to read. This comment probably makes no sense, but I wanted to share the odd tidbit anyway :3

Rick Brooks said...

You got me. Thanks for the plug in your blog. We'd love to talk with you about promoting your books and would value your ideas about ways Little Free Library could do it. One idea we're toying with is asking authors and illustrators to sign, say, five copies. Then we could announce on our website, Facebook groups and other networks that they will be sent to five lucky Little Library stewards. But we won't say which Libraries. Let's have some fun! Give me a call or drop me an email and we can figure something out. Looking forward to it. --Rick Brooks

AnonyDesign said...

I really love this idea! I only imagine what a wonderful surprise it would be to find one! And homeless people would probably get a kick out of them too! But I have one problem : what's to stop someone from just keeping the books? I would hate to put a loved book inside for someone to find and never seeing it again?

Jen said...

This is a great idea!

I also love the old Clash of the Titans! You can't get special effects like that anymore.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! I think this is my next project.

Anonymous said...

Our Banned Book Club is planning on making one and filling it with challeneged books! Thanks for the idea! :)