For as far back as we can remember, there’s been the urge to share the books we’ve read in trade for a book we might like to read. This sharing of books has taken many forms for those who travel by land, leaving a book or two in their room, to those that travel by sea. But the Little Free Library is the kind of sharing of books that has captured our hearts and imaginations of late, and as you can see by the World Map of Little Free Libraries, we are not alone. You may recall our coverage of the Little Free Library when they first starting popping up in New York City in 2013, and our favorite alien shaped one in Nolita.
There are so many new Little Free Libraries in communities around the World that the current Google Map doesn’t come close to reflecting them all, as we discovered in our travels. They’ve jumped off the front porches of suburbia and have sprung up all over Manhattan, bringing communities together in all kinds of ways. Neighbors handy with a hammer and artists with a colorful vision – apartments cluttered with unwanted books and parents looking for a local activity – all rolled up into one. Many of them not on any map, but very much a center of activity from the southern tip of Manhattan to the northern reaches and beyond.
This Summer, The Marucs Garvey Park Alliance in Harlem formed a group of volunteers to read to children every Thursday morning. This program is a collaboration of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and Literacy Inc. and over 60 kids participate every week. The program will end when school begins in the Fall but the two Little Free Libraries will continue to be a main attraction for the young and young at heart. It holds a constant stream of books donated by the local library–which happens to be right across the street–and the people who live in the area.
In a year when we have suffered the lose of Rizzoli and and other independent bookshops, we could easily be quietly wondering about the future of the written word. Fortunately, it seems to be very much alive and well inside the Little Free Libraries everywhere. You can follow The Little Free Library on Facebook or on their website, and look for one in New York City.
Look for a Little Free Library in NYC. Get in touch with the author @AFineLyne