Left side advert image
Right side advert image
Super banner advert image
Subscribe to Print Monthly's RSS feed

Enter your email address here to sign up for our weekly newsletter

Industry

Seeing the books for the trees

As public libraries continue to disappear across the country, one project is working to bring books to some of the most unusual places.

Article picture

One Idaho family transformed a tree stump into a Little Free Library

The Little Free Libraries non-profit programme exists in 88 countries with over 75,000 registered libraries. But these are not typical libraries. There are no requirements for the design of the structure of these little book homes, just that it must have a front door so that passers-by can either give or take a free book.

When one family needed to remove a 110-year-old cottonwood tree from outside their house, they came up with an idea of how to utilise the stump that remained. Librarian, artist and former bookbinder Sharalee Armitage Howard of Coeur d’Alene in Idaho, US, decided it would make the perfect home for a Little Free Library.

And so, the tree stump was carved out, fitted with a roof, and the interior was transformed into a home for books that will contribute to the book sharing programme. It joins thousands of other quirky-looking libraries placed in parks, gardens, and other easily accessible locations across the world.

Born of a love of reading, a need to support books, and a desire to build communities, the book sharing programme has seen millions of books exchanged each year

Born of a love of reading, a need to support books, and a desire to build communities, the book sharing programme has seen millions of books exchanged each year, increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

The first Little Free Library was built in 2009 in Wisconsin by Todd H. Bol, starting a worldwide literary movement. Bol founded the organisation with Rick Brooks, serving as executive director of the group until he died of complications of pancreatic cancer in 2018.

Whilst the libraries were originally designed to look like a one-room school or a house of books, they have quickly become interesting and striking structures as more people take part. To be officially called a Little Free Library, the structure must be registered with the programme and given a charter sign and number.

Despite a rise in book sales in the UK and abroad, there are still concerns about public access to books. With 127 public libraries closed across Britain last year alone due to cuts to local councils, there is an increasing reliance on volunteers to keep them alive.  

If you have a news story, email summer@linkpublishing.co.uk or follow us on Twitter to have your say.


Print printer-friendly version Printable version Send to a friend Contact us

No comments found!  

Sign in:

Email 

or create your very own Print Monthly account  to join in with the conversation.


Top Right advert image
Top Right advert image

Poll Vote

Which sector do you see continuing growth in 2019?

Top Right advert image