There’s more than one way to build community. Little Free Libraries, which are popping up in cities and towns nationwide, are bringing neighbors together in Edina, too. All it takes is an old bird feeder or creative structure in your yard, and a few free books. Some passersby “check out” those books, others leave their own books.
“The experience of building the library was tremendous,” says Marcy Anagnostou, who learned about the phenomenon through a class she took with her daughter through Edina community education. “Having the Little Free Library at our house has been so much fun. It’s an amazing gift to watch the neighborhood kids search through the library and find the right book. Knowing that they are walking away with new words, a new way of looking at their world, and an untold adventure in their arms is an amazing feeling.”
Christina Herold’s family planted a Little Free Library in their Countryside neighborhood this past spring. “It has created a better sense of neighborhood community among all generations,” attests Herold. “It’s become a meeting point to say ‘Hi.’ We’ve met more neighbors in the past three months than we have the last four years. My daughters check the library every day after school to see if we have any new books to ‘check out.’ It’s been an overwhelmingly positive addition to our family and the neighborhood.”
Jonathan Nelson, who lives near Pamela Park, set up his Little Free Library as a social experiment to see whether it would still be standing after one week. “It basically became self-sustaining the day I set it up,” says Nelson who stocks it with children’s books. “It has been great to see the community simply make it function the way it’s supposed to function.
Nelson is contemplating leaving note cards in his library and encouraging passersby to write the name of their favorite book so that he can read them and continue sharing them with others.
For more information and to find a library near you, visit littlefreelibrary.org. To learn about the Edina community education’s upcoming “Build Your Own Little Free Library” class this coming spring, call 952.848.3952.