From tiny houses, tool libraries to downloadable design, integrating the concepts of open source sharing, collaborative consumption and "building tiny" into our lives is something that we know is better for the planet. From Wisconsin comes the Little Free Library, an amazing little social enterprise that has all of these elements, aiming to build a network of tiny, community libraries the world over -- no library card needed.
Check out the project in this news bit from Minneapolis:
First started by entrepreneurs Todd Bol and Rick Brooks as one little book cabinet in 2009 to commemorate the death of Bol's mother, the Little Free Library project has since flourished, operating under the framework of "Take a Book, Return a Book." The website states that the goal of the project is:
To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.
To build more than 2,510 libraries around the world--more than Andrew Carnegie!
Though the libraries themselves are small, the vision of them is not:
Imagine a string of "Take a Book, Return a Book" Little Libraries every other mile on a metropolitan bike path, each with a different theme and great reading materials.
And the idea of tiny, hyper-local libraries is catching on. As the news report above states, there's now over 300 of these little libraries all over the world, some popping up in exotic locales like Nepal, Africa and Europe. The project now boasts a small team of builders, teachers, artists, consultants and volunteers who overlook operations, creating customized tiny libraries for each community or person that orders one. There are also of course, kits available for those who would like to do the customization themselves.
It's a great little project that expands and re-defines the notion of what sharing and community can mean, and in an increasingly digital age, helps keep alive the tradition of books themselves.