This social enterprise was born in 2009, when Todd Bol and Rick Brooks, the co-founders of Little Free Library decided to step up and do something more for their community. They were both entrepreneurs for decades already, interested in green practices, so they wanted to put all their experience for the benefit of their neighborhood.
What they didn’t expect was for their idea to be embraced by so many people around the world and implemented with so much success in other communities. But what exactly is Little Free Library about?
It is a ‘take a book, return a book’ gathering place where you can share your favorite literature pieces (novels, short stories, poems etc.) with other people living in the same neighborhood. In the beginning, this was implemented in the shape of a wooden box full of books, from where you could simply pick a writing that you are interested in and read it. You were always required to bring a piece in return, for others to be able to read something as well.
This idea was definitely build on a very impressive concept – the ‘sharing is caring’ notion which makes us value even more our humanity and respect our fellow citizens.
Little Free Library. Photo source: littlefreelibrary.org
Giving back to the community you live in is not something new. Responsible, caring people always do that, in order to show their appreciation for the ones who are near them both in good and bad times. This was exactly what Todd Bol from Houston, Wisconsin was thinking about when he placed a schoolhouse-shaped wooden box full of books in front of his house. His friends and neighbors loved the idea, so he thought of implementing it in other communities.
Together with Rick Brooks of Madison, Todd established Little Free Library. Their mission is to promote literacy and a passion for books and reading worldwide, through free book exchanges.
More to it, they wanted to encourage communities to grow tighter together and nurture a sense of belonging. In order to satisfy the great deal of demands for their schoolhouse-shaped boxes, they use Amish carpenters and recycled wood. It’s estimated that till January 2014, there would be about 10,000 – 12,000 registered Little Free Libraries all over the world.
In May 2012, Little Free Library became a nonprofit corporation with a board of directors, and in September it was granted a tax-exempt status, because from its very beginning it constantly brought and still brings numerous benefits to the local community.
How impressive do you find this? We believe every community should definitely have one Little Free Library.
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