It seems houses aren’t the only thing these days being cut down to a tiny size. Another miniature craze is what has become known as Little Free Libraries, founded by Hudson, Wisconsin resident Todd Bol.
In 2009, Bol built a model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, who loved to read. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard so that friends and neighbors could drop by anytime and take something to read.
The idea caught on and is now being utilized by thousands of literary clubs, community groups and philanthropic organizations across the globe. Last week, Hesperia Girl Scout Troop 1011 hosted the Grand Opening for its Little Free Library at 9054 Coachella Ave. in Hesperia.
According to Rachel Bridge, co-leader for the group, it’s a project that’s bound to make a big impact on local children, as well as adults, for years to come.
“The Girl Scouts are all about doing things that give back to the community,” said Bridge, whose daughters Mary, Aundrea and Kaylee are part of Troop 1011. “The Little Free Library is wonderful because anyone can stop by at anytime and grab a book. You don’t have to return it if you don’t want to or you can sit down by the structure and read it right there.
“Either way, when the supply gets low, our troop members will re-stock.”
The Little Free Library in Hesperia was constructed of mostly wood, which was funded by proceeds from the Girl Scout cookie drive. It will hold 30-40 books, which can be accessed through a tiny front door. Its contents will include everything from picture books and short stories to novels.
“We stocked our little library last week at the Grand Opening with some Disney books that I donated, as well as a variety of titles that will appeal to all ages,” said Bridge. “The idea is to make the selection as diverse as possible.”
Bridge said she hopes more organizations in the High Desert will consider opening a Little Free Library.
Little Free Library was officially established in 2012 as a Wisconsin nonprofit corporation. By January of 2015, the total number of registered Little Free Libraries in the world was conservatively estimated to be nearly 25,000. In January of this year, the total number of registered Little Free Libraries had topped 40,000 worldwide and could be found in all 50 states and in 70 countries.
The organization has received numerous honors, including the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize, the American Library Association’s Movers and Shakers Award and the Library of Congress Literacy Award.
The organization encourages the volunteer stewards who manage the book exchanges to register their libraries so they can be found on the world map and be included in communications around events and special programming.
For more information about the organization, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.