Little libraries are all the rage right now in towns and cities all over the world. People are building tiny boxes that look much like bird feeders and filling them with books to act as a free library for everyone to take part in. People can take books or leave books for others to take. It's a pretty great system for people who love to read but who don't want to collect or hoard books. Sometimes there are books that once you've read them, you just want to pass onto someone else so they can take pleasure in reading them too. Sharalee Armitage Howard, a librarian and bookbinder, had the idea to transform a 110 year old cottonwood tree in front of her home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, into one of these little free libraries. The tree needed to be removed, but instead, she just had them cut down the parts that needed to be removed and then turned it into a great place for the community to share and enjoy books. This is not the smallest free book library, but it's certainly one of the most unique ones. Little stepping stones lead up to the tree that's been hollowed out to make way for the shelves of the library.
The library was completed with a sloped roof and a large green door with a glass window pane to protect the books but so that people can still look at the contents of the library. The door opens up to several shelves which all have lights on them so even on the darkest day, or in the evening people can come by and grab a book to read. There are also some incredible details like the on the exterior of the library, including Nancy Drew, Call of the Wild and The Hobbit. She's also registered the tree house library with the Little Free Library nonprofit organization, charter #82068 so it can be found on the world map. Once Sharalee had posted some photos of her library, the photos went viral online and people were sharing them all over the world. It's become a very popular library, to say the least, and people in the area frequent the library even just to see it in person regardless of if they get a book or not.
The books in a little free library like this one are always changing, so it's fun to go every couple of weeks to see what's there. Usually, it's nice to leave a book if you take a book, but if you don't have a book to leave, that's okay too. There are always plenty of people filling it up with books they've already enjoyed and that they want to pass onto other avid readers. If you're not in the area, you can always pay a visit if you're making a trip to Coeur d'Alene in Idaho, but you can also check Little Free Library's website to see if there are any free libraries in your town or city. You can even walk around your area to see if there are any close to your home. If you don't have a little free library in your area and you'd like to see one, you can also think about building one and setting one up in front of your home on your property. Or contacting your city officials and seeing if there could be one set up in a more public area. They can be built out of recycled materials and painted a fun colour to stand out so people will notice them. What a great idea that brings books to people in such a creative way.
More about this story can be found at: Little Free Library