‘Little free libraries’ are an American initiative that arrived in The Netherlands in 2013. ‘Little free libraries’ are places where people can exchange their books.
The idea behind them is that each of us can make our society better and our communities stronger. When using a ‘little free library’, you are not borrowing or lending books, you are exchanging them with your community.
The Little Free Library initiative has been honoured by the National Book Foundation, the Library of Congress, Library Journal, and others for its work promoting literacy and a love of reading.
Although they come in different shapes and sizes, commonly they are wooden containers placed outside homes, associations, schools or companies. People can take whatever book they like and bring their favourite book to share. Unlike, ‘public bookcases’ they are not funded by institutions but individuals. ‘Little free libraries’ are also environmentally friendly as they help you ‘recycle’ your old books.
The initiative has gained popularity worldwide in the last few years. You can check the impact of the project in the Little Free Library project website.
In Holland, the phenomenon is known as Minibieb and according to their website, there are over 1000 little libraries in The Netherlands, 21 of which are located in the Greater Haarlem Area.
You can use their website to find the nearest ‘little free library’ to you. They also offer information on how to start your own little free library.
Please let us know in the comments if you have a ‘little free library’ or if you would be willing to set up one.
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