Monday, March 18, 2013

Little Lending Libraries

News Flash! Best article I found in yesterday's Sunday paper - American Profile insert -

 Little Free Library, Sharing books, building community.

Seems that there's a movement going around the US now, little free libraries popping up in the least imaginable, but most delightful spots.

Wooden boxes filled with books for the taking. What a concept, but not exactly a new invention. I know of two in the first half of the twentieth century, both with connections to Pilot Mountain School.

In 1929 the Christian and Missionary Alliance assigned Phlora Nowling to be a missionary in Brindletown near the future site of Pilot Mountain School. She opened her "Log Cabin" school for the children. When the public school system finally built a small one-roomer, she instead operated a lending library from her home.

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the globe, Christian missionary to China and future classroom teacher at Pilot Mountain, Lettie Hamlett, was doing the same thing, only with a few adjustments. This little lending library was no log cabin. Hers was a boat, one floating up and down the river, bringing books to the farmers working beside the canals and merchants in the small villages.

Books! Access to books! Free!

Sounds like the public library, doesn't it? Only these are operated by volunteers, people who believe in the value of books-in-hand. Read more about the Little Free Library movement at their website, That's where I found all these pictures.

Then go forth in your own community and do what Phlora and Lettie did almost a hundred years ago, operate a small lending library. What a concept!

Catch of the day,


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