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A Little Free Library Is Born!

September 18th, 2013 (08:39 pm)

How To Build a LFLHave you heard of the Little Free Library phenomenon? A Little Free Library is a modern version of the old "Take a Book. Leave a Book" shelf. Basically, it's a weatherproof box filled with books. You can build your own or buy one through the LFL site. put one outside your home or business, or you get permission to put it in a public place. Then you invite people to browse.

Anyone can come by and take one or more books. People with books to donate can just place them inside. You don't have to donate a book in order to take a book. And you don't have to return the books you take. You can choose either to keep them, to return them to the same or any other LFL, or to give them away wherever you want. There are no limits, no fees, and no memberships. The only rule is that you're not supposed to sell a book you found in a Little Free Library.

The idea is to spread books and the joy of reading. And maybe even to bring communities together around books.

My own Little Free Library was installed this weekend in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, and I'm thrilled with it. My friend Madeline, from my DC-area Bookcrossing group, recently started one in her own yard. When I said I had been wanting one too, she mentioned it to her husband, Jose. And he offered to make one for me! He said he enjoyed making hers so much that he'd love to make a second one. He asked me to send pictures of my house so he could model the little book house on the real thing. And within a few weeks, my Little Free Library was finished. I love it!

These photos, taken by Madeline Katz Guzman, document the making of Little Free Library #9136, also known as the Little Free Library of West Alexandria & Hancock Ave. It's in the process of being registered on the Little Free Library site, so it won't show up on the official LFL map just yet, but check back there soon.

Coming soon: photos showing how to install a Little Free Library.