The following is from The Friends of South Orange Public Library:
What do little houses containing books have to do with literacy, life-long learning and building community? How can a community promote literacy without investing taxpayer dollars?
On your travels around the Village you have probably noticed little roofed boxes sitting on top of poles. Are they bird feeders or small community bulletin boards? Perhaps you have taken a minute to examine them more closely. Books!
The official Little Free Library (LFL) movement started in Wisconsin in one man’s front yard and has grown to over 40,000 libraries around the world. According to their web site, the Little Free Library Organization’s mission is to “promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.” The are perhaps more than 80 locations in New Jersey alone. Recently one was spotted in Thessalonica, Greece. The organization provides communities around the world with online tools to build and stock a mini-library. The little houses and various accessories may be purchased from their website littlefreelibraries.org and may be gifted under special circumstances.
The Friends of South Orange Public Library maintains 4 of the LFL in town. Everyone in the Village can participate. It is simplicity itself! Find a LFL; choose a book. When you have read it, return it to the LFL or, if you have fallen in love with it, put it on your bookshelf. Replace it with one of your surplus books or not as you choose. You could also donate without borrowing. Books for every age and a wide variety of subjects are represented.
Conveniently located: Sloane Street outside Starbucks, Mead Street by the Baird and tennis courts, and two on Vose Avenue near Mountain Station. The Rotary Club of South Orange purchased two of the LFLs and South Orange Country Day provided the ones near the preschool on Vose Avenue. The LFLs are maintained and resupplied by the Friends of South Orange Public Library. Children’s and adult books are available. Outside the school one is dedicated to books in foreign languages. Children’s books are in great demand. So please pass on outgrown ones so others may enjoy and learn from them.
Lenore Berkman, Shirley Gordon and Michelle King are the busy ladies who keep the LFLs stocked. While not a LFL, but in the same spirit, a book rack at the South Orange Pool is maintained during the summer months by FOSOLP member Pat Adkins.
So, look for a miniature house on a pole. The contents change as the supply is depleted and the variety should appeal to everyone. The LFLs are open 24/7, do not require a library card and no late fees apply.
You might even chat with a neighbor or meet someone new with a shared interest.