If you often pass through neighborhoods whilst driving or like to take walks, you may have noticed large, mailbox-looking contraptions filled with books. You may have even stopped to take a look, asking yourself, “Just what are these boxes for?”
The answer is simple: the boxes are tiny libraries. And they are for you.
While they may not hold nearly as many books as their bigger counterparts, these libraries have their benefits. For one, there are no late fees, and you can keep the book if you want to. In return, they ask that you bring a book for the library later so that the box can be self-sustaining. Because of this, the contents of mailbox libraries constantly fluctuates, making it easy to find more books to enjoy later on.
Having a little library in the neighborhood can help promote reading for low-income families, as well as being a help in motivating the children in the area to go out and see what books they can find! It’s also great if you want to connect with other readers around you; chances are that you will be searching for books together at one point or another!
Another amazing thing about them is that they are not only free, accessible libraries, but works of art. Mailbox libraries can vary widely in the way that they look, from the standard “little houses” to customized newspaper dispensers and even a wooden R2D2, as shown on the Little Free Library’s Pinterest! They have become so popular in the USA that some people even plan their road trips so that they can check out some of the more unique mailbox libraries.
So where can you find these wonderful boxes? They are all over the world! If you’re having a hard time finding one in your area, the Little Free Library website keeps a map of every mailbox library that is registered with them here. Just type the city and state you live in (or your zip code) to find boxes near you. Of course, as registering is optional, there are many unregistered boxes to find as well!