What if I told you there are over 50,000 “Little Free Library” sites around the world? Many of these secret libraries are in your own community. Locating and visiting a “Little Free Library” is a fabulous adventure for book worms, or a fun way to foster an excitement for book worms in-the-making.
It all began in 2009 with a man named Todd Bol. He built a box made to look like a miniature schoolhouse, and set it on to a post in his yard. His mother was a school teacher. Next he filled it with books for neighbor’s to enjoy as a tribute to his mother after her passing.
“Little Free Library” isn’t a traditional library.
Instead, it’s a neighborhood book exchange. Subsequently anyone can visit a “Little Free Library” and select a book to read, or leave one for another patron.
In addition each “Little Free Library” box has an owner called a steward. They register the box, and maintain the library.
However, the adventure part comes from finding each library box.
My children compare them to secret libraries.
Together we map out a route and search for them, like a pirate’s treasure. Each box’s location is registered by the steward. You can locate “Little Free Library” locations using this online search feature.
Each secret library is a new adventure. Some days we select a book, or leave a book. My oldest daughter likes to sometimes leave a homemade bookmark inside a book for the next reader.
Today my youngest and her friend select a book from a local box. This box is located on Middle Road in Portsmouth, NH and contains books for children and youth. When they visit boxes together, they wear tin foil hats. To them it adds to the mystery and “secrecy” of the adventure. It also gives them an excuse to wear tin foil on their heads…bonus!
Our family is still new to the wonder of secret libraries on the seacoast, and in 70 countries around the world. We have discovered library boxes in Portsmouth, Rye, Newmarket and Stratham. My kiddos are already planning where we’ll find our next secret library. If you run into our family during your own library hunt, you’ll be able to recognize us immediately – we’ll be wearing tin foil hats.