DiskuteraLittle Free Libraries

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mar 13, 2015, 5:24 pm

Glad you found the new group for stewards and friends of Little Free Libraries.

Redigerat: mar 13, 2015, 7:25 pm

Thanks for starting this group, Deanna. It is really nice to now to have a place of our own here on LibraryThing to talk about our experiences with Little Free Libraries.

Redigerat: mar 13, 2015, 10:05 pm

Here is some good information about Little Free Libraries here on LT.

LFLs near you:
This link will take you to LT Local. If you click on "See Little Libraries" (top left of your page), you'll discover many Little Free Libraries near you!

List your own LFL on LT:
If your LFL is not listed here on LT, enter it here, but be sure to first click on "Little Libraries", then click on "Little Free Library". Don't forget to click "Add venue" at the bottom of the page.

If you need help with any of this, please ask. Enjoy!

mar 14, 2015, 1:43 am

I'm unfamiliar with the Little (Free) Library phenomenon, yet local tells me there are 64 of them within 25 miles of me.

Maybe there could be a thread or a group header or a link offered to some description or website or whatever that might explain to me how it all works..

Redigerat: mar 14, 2015, 8:34 am

Good question, Bill. Thanks for asking.

Here is the link to the Little Free Library main website...
Little Free Library

My own Little Free Library, the Little Free Library of Twinbrook (#7720), is one of those located within 25 miles of you since it's in Rockville, Maryland. I hope you found it on LT's map. :)

P.S. I see that you also (like me) attend the (local to us) Kensington Book Festival. Did you know that Elisenda Sola-Sole, the owner of Kensington Row Bookshop (which sponsors that street festival each year) is now the proud owner of her own Little Free Library? Her husband got her one as a gift. She said she'd let me know when she and her husband put it up. She has also generously donated many books to my own Little Free Library in the past.

mar 14, 2015, 9:12 am

I ought to be able to find something on Twinbrook Parkway since I grew up on Gruenther Avenue!

mar 14, 2015, 9:46 am

Did you? Hey! We've lived in Twinbrook since 1978, and my older son bought a house in Twinbrook a few years ago as well.

mar 14, 2015, 11:53 am

Our Little Free Library is one of about 40 now in Lincoln, Nebraska. My husband built ours with wood he got from a construction site and we made the doors out of picture frames. We are both readers so we had some books and I went to lots of garage sales last summer. A local second hand book store closed and opened his store in the closing days for all stewards of Little Free Libraries to go and get whatever we wanted. I got a really nice selection of children's books then. When we had our grand opening we met neighbors we had not met in the ten years we have lived here. It has been a great community builder.

mar 14, 2015, 4:41 pm

I am glad I found the group.

I put up a Little Free Library in our neighborhood park last summer. It has been a fun project for me, and I am always surprised to see the books shared by other neighbors. My biggest problem with it so far has been too many books! I've had to clean out the excess a couple of times and I am always carting around a couple of boxes of books in my trunk.

My question for other stewards would be: do you rotate out the non-moving books, and if so, how often? Do you have any system? Do you try unwanted books again or do you donate them to Goodwill or another charity? Any other tips to offer?

mar 14, 2015, 6:09 pm

I am glad you found us too!

We just put up our LFL last summer as well.

I replace all of the books in our LFL each Wednesday. I have always used an excel spreadsheet (until I was introduced to LibraryThing just a couple of weeks ago) to keep tract of when a book was in the library. With the number of books I currently have it will probably be every 6 months or so that a book is in the library.

The LFL Stewards here in Lincoln are planning a book exchange this spring so maybe we can all get a few new selections. Something that won't move in my library may be wanted in another library.

I have not had big donations of books which I am grateful for. I have a couple new ones in the library every week or so.

Do you have a guest book? And if so, do you find people use it?

mar 14, 2015, 6:24 pm

>9 sturlington:

do you rotate out the non-moving books, and if so, how often?
I rotate out the books that don't move every 2-3 weeks. The amount of time varies, but now it's every 14 days. I rotate a few new books out and in daily so there is always something new.

Do you have any system?
I do. My Little Free Library is an Official BookCrossing Zone so I know what day I release each book from the following Go Hunting page on BookCrossing. The oldest books come out first.

Do you try unwanted books again or do you donate them to Goodwill or another charity?
I do not try them again. I release them in other venues.

>10 TheDepotLFL:

Do you have a guest book?
I do.

do you find people use it?
The do use it, but my first one was stolen. :(
I'm on my second one now.

mar 15, 2015, 10:29 am

>9 sturlington:

I don't have a Little Free Library, but take part in a large book give-away every year at a festival in one of our city parks. After carting around the same books for several years and seeing many of the same books languish in other venues, I decided something had to be done.

I now look rejects up on Library Thing and check the swap listing in the right-hand column. If there are a lot more available than are wanted, I recycle my copy. Clearly there are copies out there if someone wants to read it.

mar 15, 2015, 10:30 am

I am so glad to find Library Thing and this Little Free Library group. I am a teacher in Ann Arbor, MI. My husband built our LFL to match our house in summer 2014 and it has been a wonderful project! We have met so many neighbors and passersby. In the summer months lots of people would stop and sit at our benches and browse and read before choosing. Our favorites to watch were parents reading to their little people.

Our library gets a lot of traffic as we are in a very residential neighborhood near an elementary school. I was surprised to see how often the books came and went even this winter with sub zero temps and over a foot of snow to wade through.

To answer some questions posted here– I do keep an eye on the books, though I do not keep lists. When I see that a book has been hanging out for too long, I remove it. That is recommended by LFL and stewards who blog about it. "Too long" is relative and depends on how quickly the general inventory is turning over at any given time. I do not pass on books I remove or put them back once they are removed- books do have a lifespan and at a certain point it's time for the recycle bin.

We have copies of a fact sheet that is free for the taking. We keep a pen and sticky notes inside and I highly recommend this! The comments, especially from kids, are just wonderful. I leave the notes inside the library for a while for others to read, eventually moving them to a notebook I keep in our home, not in the LFL. I also keep cards from fans and articles about our library in the notebook so it is more of a scrapbook.

We have a lower shelf for kids and an upper one for adults. We get all sorts of genres. I have to sort periodically to keep it neat. I remove books that I find in poor taste or in too ratty a condition– also recommended by most LFL owners. When you have a LFL you really are a steward, and I find most LFL owners take that seriously. No one wants a little house of junk outside, or a "book jail for bad books" as one Colorado critic recently posted about LFLs... so sad!

I look forward to reading more about other LFLs!

mar 15, 2015, 10:46 am

>12 aulsmith:

I...take part in a large book give-away every year at a festival

I do, too! This year these are the festivals (both free, by the way) in which my BookCrossing group is giving away hundreds of free, previously owned, gently used books. Please attend either or both!

1. International Day of the Book in Kensington, Maryland, USA, on 4/26/15
Gaithersburg Book Festival in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, on 5/16/15

Look for me at the Bookcrossing booth and say hi! Both of these festivals can be followed on Facebook.

By the way, any Little Free Library steward (as well as the general public) is welcome to donate books, take books, or swap books at the BookCrossing booth of both festivals. All our books are FREE so the price is right. We will have a separate box in which to accept unregistered book donations. Thanks in advance.

mar 15, 2015, 10:59 am

>9 sturlington: I started my LFL at the end of 2013 with castoffs from my own library, but it's now almost entirely donations (I posted a sign last spring when I was running out of books, and since then people have been leaving boxes and bags of books on the porch). Sometimes they're junk (i.e. extremely poor condition), which I recycle if possible. Sometimes they're not within the spirit (e.g. textbooks), which I take to the public library for the annual book sale. More typically they're romance and mystery, relatively recent literary fiction, old classics, beat up but functional kid books, out-of-date non-fiction, self-help/inspirational. I bring the donations inside, and put a representative selection out. I also pass along magazines I subscribe to. I kept track for the first six months, and everything was taken within a month. I stopped keeping track because it was too time consuming, so I don't necessarily notice if a book has been sitting there for ages, but I add new books once or twice per week to keep the box full. I'm on a busy pedestrian route, and slightly over 1000 books were taken in 2014.

mar 15, 2015, 11:12 am

>13 kidpeople:

"book jail for bad books"

Haha! Even Tim Spalding thought that people would leave dreadful, discarded books in Little Free Libraries. For my own LFL, that has not been the case. People often leave what appear to be brand new (although I'm sure they've been read) bestsellers. I tend to mix up my books so there is never a too high ratio of older books released at any one time.

mar 15, 2015, 11:17 am

>15 qebo:

I also pass along magazines I subscribe to

I decided to not offer magazines since they don't stack neatly and easily in my LFL. I also specifically ask that people do not donate textbooks, encyclopedias, damaged books, or books with loose pages. Most of the donations fit my criteria exactly. Those that don't, I donate to The Book Thing of Baltimore (from where I pick up even more books to use for my Little Free Library. Heh!).

mar 15, 2015, 11:37 am

>17 SqueakyChu: I put a batch of New Yorkers out as an experiment, since otherwise they were going into recycling, and they went quickly. A year of Atlantic went within days. Most donated books are OK; the occasional duds are typically mixed into bags and boxes, annoying but not too difficult to deal with. I was initially doubtful about literary quality, but everything gets a shot and it seems my customers aren't too picky.

mar 15, 2015, 2:56 pm

I read the "book jail for bad books" as well. He did end the article on a positive note that he in fact had found a book he wanted at a LFL.

I have not noticed the swap list on Library Thing so I must find that. I have used Paper Back Swap to "exchange" books. I just recently requested some young adult fiction.

I have my books categorized for children, 8 Plus, 14 Plus, young adult, and fiction so I try to put a few of each in the library each week.

We have been disappointed in the activity around our library this winter so we hope business picks up. We are in a residential area but our street is not a through street so that may make a difference. Most of our activity is people walking.

mar 15, 2015, 4:33 pm

>19 TheDepotLFL: I have not noticed the swap list on Library Thing so I must find that.

On each work page, in the right-hand column, at the end of Quick Links and before Popular Covers is a section that says

Swap E-book Audio

Those numbers are an an amalgamation of statistics from many swap sites. Clicking on the number shows you the details.

mar 24, 2015, 12:59 am

The official LFL website now has a Facebook page for stewards.

mar 24, 2015, 5:58 pm

>21 elcorte:

The official LFL website now has a Facebook page for stewards.

Here's the link.