Little Free Libraries Spring Up in Michigan


Published:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This spring, Annie Gilson hired an artist friend to build and decorate a miniature bookcase with a roof and a glass door. Gilson filled it with books, then mounted it on a pole outside her Rochester home with a sign announcing, “Little Free Library.” Books began to disappear quickly, one nabbed by a 13-year-old girl who left a note saying, “I bet you think kids don’t read anymore with all the technology but I’m here to tell you they still do!”

An English professor at Oakland University, Gilson is delighted with her entry into the Little Free Library movement. “I had so many books and I can’t keep them all,” she says. “I thought this was a great way to reach out to like-minded people.”

Since Todd Bol built the first one in Madison, Wis., two-and-a-half years ago, more than 2,500 Little Free Libraries have sprung up around the world. As of mid-July, 14 Michiganians had registered their pop-up libraries (which typically hold 20 to 40 books) with littlefreelibrary.org.

They include one in Glens Park in Riverview, courtesy of resident and former librarian David Howell. The city worried about vandalism, he says, but there have been no problems, and many families come to take or drop off kids’ books. In Ann Arbor, retired schoolteacher June Anderson says dozens of popular novels have been “borrowed” from the custom red “book barn” built by her engineer daughter.

People can return the books, or not, as they like. Co-founder Bol says Little Free Libraries are building stronger communities while also promoting reading and literacy. The libraries’ little doors, Bol says, are “opening doors among neighbors.”

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Detroit’s Ford Fireworks Celebrate 60 Years

The annual show will light up the riverfront on June 25

Meet the Makers: Signifier Signs

Neon artist, George Vidas, steps into the spotlight

The Way It Was

Crowley’s Mezzanine Tea Room, 1941

Father’s Day Activities for Every Type of Dad

Celebrate your pop with experiences perfectly fit for him

How Custom Bikes Are Changing Lives

Beaumont’s Bike Day program helps special needs children
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best of Detroit 2018
    Our reader's picks for the Best of Detroit winners in food, drink, leisure, people, and services
  2. Father’s Day Activities for Every Type of Dad
    Celebrate your pop with experiences perfectly fit for him
  3. Detroit’s Ford Fireworks Celebrate 60 Years
    The annual show will light up the riverfront on June 25
  4. How Custom Bikes Are Changing Lives
    Beaumont’s Bike Day program helps special needs children
  5. A Family of ‘Foodies’ Share Their Ramadan Traditions
    What Iftar looks like for the social media savvy Sareinis
  6. An Hour With... Tim Zajaros
    Co-founder, Armory Films
  7. Getting Ready with a Drag Queen
    Emma Sapphire gives a behind-the-scenes look at a pre show beauty routine
  8. The Vegan 'Ice Cream' Even Non-Vegans Will Love
    Allergy conscious and delicious, The Ice Cream Plant is quickly growing fans in metro Detroit
  9. Cocktail Recipe: Strip and Go Naked
    A refreshing tiki classic from Lost River in Detroit
  10. Blown Summer Style Challenge: Be Brave With This Season's Sheer Fabrics
    Billowy silhouettes and scintillating jewelry create an ethereal appeal