Dear Dr. Laura
I’ve seen people share about their neighborhood Little Free Libraries and it made me wonder if anyone ever put something like a Little Free Library at their school?
Feeling Free Librarian
Hi, Feeling Free Librarian!
Aren’t these Little Free Libraries the best?!! In my particular area, we do not have a lot of them that are officially tagged by the Little Free Library organization. But, our schools really caught on to the LFL fever and they are popping up everywhere now!
One of our districts actually did what you are thinking about. Weslaco ISD installed Little Free Libraries (LFL) at each campus. Some are in the car waiting zone where students wait to be picked up after school or in the bus zone where students are waiting to board the buses. Some are in crates on school buses. And just this last year librarian, Renee Dyer, helped expand out to a local hospital in her area. Think about places children sit and wait. These places might partner with you: local businesses, Doctor’s Offices, WIC offices, low-income housing areas that have a children’s center, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.
I have another friend, Maggie Aguilar-Crandall, who found some local sponsors to sponsor some of the LFLs she oversees. For instance, a local judge donated money to have an LFL built. She also has a Girl Scout troop who has adopted an LFL to keep up with the maintenance and book replacement. There might be vandalism or weather deterioration from time to time but don’t let that stop you from trying! This is a way to make a difference in the life of a child. You might even create a reader by providing this kind of access, which is what we all hope to do!
The whole idea is to provide book access for those who need it and even those who don’t necessarily need it. Let’s face it. These LFLs are cute and fun! Everyone should have a chance to participate in this experience at some point in their life. Providing LFLs would be another way to create a “book flood” for students like I described in a previous blog post about creating a culture of literacy.
I hosted a big conference once where we gave away Little Free Libraries to some of our lucky attendees. I partnered with a Boy Scout who was working on his Eagle Project. These LFLs were built by our local high school’s career and technology students. They designed and built their own unique LFL. Their creativity was amazing!
Look for partnerships like this to kick off your LFL movement!
If you do end up placing them out of your view, be sure to assign someone or club or even the PTA to oversee them. They can be in charge of any needed repairs and refilling the books from time to time. LFLs make great service projects! They can even do a community book drive to help kick it off.
I’d love to see some pictures of your finished Little Free Library! Keep dreaming up great things to do for your students!
Be sure to click the hyperlinks above. You'll see some videos about some of the LFL projects I described. Also, Like and Follow Brownsville Little Free Libraries on Facebook. You can message Maggie Aguilar-Crandall on that page if you want some tips on getting started.
Be sure to check out Brooke Corso's interview with her ideas about creating a living library. Very insightful! https://www.laurasheneman.com/post/a-living-library-with-brooke-corso
***Scroll to the bottom of the page and subscribe to our mailing list. Stay up to date on latest blog posts, podcast interviews, and other related topics.***