Margret Aldrich loves books, and she loves to share them—so much so that she wrote a book about it: The Little Free Library Book: Take a Book, Return a Book. This volume tells the inspiring tale of a growing movement to unite people through the sharing of books in neighborhoods. The motto: “Always a gift. Never for Sale.”
The Little Free Library (LFL) concept was the brainchild of Todd Bol of Minneapolis, who explained in a 2013 TED Talk how he and cofounder Rick Brooks began this program in 2009. Editor/writer Margaret Aldrich was taken by the idea, so she “planted” her own LFL in front of her Minneapolis home.
Aldrich’s new book probes the how and why of this program, with chapters about community building, literacy, creativity, overcoming challenges, the humanitarian “good deed” characteristics, global reach, and even yarn bombing—with a Foreword written by Bol. Aldrich enlarges these basic concepts with headings such as “Come Together,” “Celebrate Reading,” “Kickstart Creativity,” and “Pay It Forward.” She includes interviews with a selection of LFL stewards.
NooX, an ongoing study begun in 2012 by Canadian researchers, examines how neighborhood book exchanges relate to theories of information practices. Investigators identified four main goals in 2014—neighborhood destinations, interactive spaces, gathering spaces, and sharing books—emphasizing the wide divergence in these goals from steward to steward.