Little free library. Book box. That thing in the neighbor’s yard.
They’re known by many different labels, but those cute creations dotting front lawns and greenbelts around town are all the same in their purpose: to promote a love of reading!
Now that’s definitely something we can get behind! In fact, we want to help spread the fun throughout our entire community!
Locating Book Exchanges
One of our goals is to put together a community guide to the location of all the book exchanges in our area. Since not every book box is registered with the official Little Free Library organization – nor does it have to be – we want your help letting us know when you come across a book exchange in your neighborhood.
We’ve created a webpage where you can quickly submit information about the location of the book box, and we’ll build a comprehensive community guide to book exchanges to share with everyone! The information we ask: your email address in case we need to follow-up with you; the approximate location or address of the book exchange; and any additional notes or description of the structure.
Book Boxes in Parks
Another effort we’re doing is in partnership with Fort Collins Rotary After Work, City of Fort Collins Parks and Recreation Department, United Way of Larimer County, and Children’s Speech and Reading Center to bring book box exchanges to local parks and recreation areas. We got started on it at the recent June Open Streets event when dozens of kids helped paint three book boxes, built by Rotary Club members. These book exchanges, along with others, will eventually make their way to the public and be stocked with books for the community to enjoy.
Just like those put up by individuals and families, these book boxes will work on a take-one, leave-one philosophy to encourage reading and book sharing. We hope to have materials that reflect the diversity of our entire community and which are appropriate for a wide range of ages and reading levels. Book boxes aren’t just for children!
Different park locations are being reviewed to establish the new book exchanges, with particular attention being placed on areas that could be considered “book deserts”, or areas where printed books and other reading materials are more difficult to obtain for any variety of reasons including lack of access to available transportation.
The free neighborhood book exchange movement has great potential in our community.
Not only can it build strong neighborhood relationships, it has the power to improve literacy. When the community supports book exchanges, we’re championing reading and making books that much more accessible to everyone.
Plus, they’re wonderful stepping stones to enjoying the larger offerings available at the Library District!
Help build a community guide to free book exchanges by letting us know the location of ones in your neighborhood! And keep an eye out for new book boxes popping up in local parks and recreation areas around town.