A few weeks ago we began blogging about Highland Woodworking owner Chris Bagby and his wife Sanne’s progress with the installation of a Little Free Library in their front yard in Atlanta, GA. The Little Free Library is a nationwide community movement project that involves the creation of a birdhouse-sized structure that is placed in your front yard and then filled with books that can be shared with others in your neighborhood. Sanne has been keeping track of their progress through her own blogging and today we present the final installment of The Little Free Library with the Grand Opening and Post Opening.
To see the previous entry about Library Theme and Placement, click HERE.
The final step in the project is attaching our official “Little Free Library” sign that displays our registration number on it. The door had been specifically sized to accommodate the sign just above the window that provides a view into the cabinet. We were ready to open up for business! We accomplished this task just 10 minutes before the ribbon-cutting ceremony was to begin, so we finished just in the knick of time!
We had set up a festive table with snacks and some ice-cold bottles of water to make it a real celebration. The LFL was cloaked by a table cloth and flanked by poles from which we’d suspended a bright red crepe paper “ribbon.” Neighbors, adults and children alike, most bearing books, started to arrive, eventually numbering about 40. Three sisters aged from 8 to 14, and their parents, both educators, were amongst the first to arrive. I asked the girls if they would do us the honor of cutting the ribbon. With some shyness at first, they all agreed.
I made a little speech welcoming everyone to the event and explained briefly how the LFL movement got started and how it works, and then the ribbon-cutting occurred. The two younger girls, Elena and Abby, did the cutting while older sister, Isabella, whipped off the cloth revealing the library, itself! We got cheers and applause and more than just a few “AWWWS!” and chuckles from those who notice the library’s name: “Bo’s Books.” Bo, our cat who had been slinking around amidst the crowd, was picked up and cheered. He loves the attention!
Right from the start, our LFL saw books being exchanged. Some of the users claimed a seat on the bench and shared the books they had brought themselves, while others sat at the picnic table we’d set up. Most people were gathered near the snacks table, chatting and catching up with one another. Some of the discussion I heard was “how nice it is to get together like this and how we should all do it more often.” Clearly, our LFL is achieving its goals of “building community.”
Since the Grand Opening, I’ve planted a sunflower behind the bench to serve as a cheerful greeting to visitors and a mosquito repelling plant next to the bench to encourage folks to sit and enjoy browsing through their chosen books without suffering the annoying the buzz and bites. While we are officially registered as a Little Free Library with the organization, we are waiting to be listed in their online database and shown on their worldwide location map. Then, we’ll really feel official! You can see the map of all of the Little Free Libraries around the world by clicking HERE.
I’m still trying to find an explanation of the concept, the registration process, etc.
The basic concept behind Little Free Library is to build a community through the sharing of books. The Little Free Library was founded by Todd Bol, who built the first Little Free Library in his yard in honor of his mother who was a schoolteacher and loved books. He wanted to spread this idea throughout the community and found business partner, Rick Brooks, and the two of them were able to expand their idea and share it with other communities and it took off from there.
As for the registration process and starting your own Little Free Library, it is a fairly simple process.
1) Figure out the location of your library and what kind of library you plan on having, whether it is themed toward your favorite subject (i.e. nature, crafts, fiction, etc) or if it is going to be a general library.
2) Gather your supplies to build your library or order a a pre-built library from the Little Free Library website: http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/order-libraries.html.
3) If you purchase a pre-built library that you order from the website then it comes with a registration packet. If you are building your own from your own materials, then you can register your library online here: http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/contact-us.html. They will send you a registration packet that contains your official charter sign to attach to your library.
4) Once your library has been finished and registered, you can sign up here to have your library placed on the official global map: http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/get-on-the-map.html
Please let us know if you have any more questions!