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

Meet the Michigan Native Known for His Palm Beach Landscapes

Keith Williams’ inherent knack for landscaping blossomed from his Bloomfield Hills yard

The Greatest (Woman) Of All Time

Flint boxer Claressa Shields may have Olympic gold medals under her belt, but she’s just getting started

The Way it Was

The Detroit Club, 1937

Cocktails Meet Conservation at this Annual Event

The Detroit Zoo gala aims to support endangered animals

Meet Some of the Women Running for Office in Michigan

Michigan voters are seeing more female candidates on the ballot than ever before
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Suburban Polish Restaurant That Rivals Hamtramck
    Troy’s Polka Restaurant is a thoroughly modern take on Polish traditions
  2. The Greatest (Woman) Of All Time
    Flint boxer Claressa Shields may have Olympic gold medals under her belt, but she’s just...
  3. Meet Some of the Women Running for Office in Michigan
    Michigan voters are seeing more female candidates on the ballot than ever before
  4. An Hour With... Rachelle Vartanian
    Founder and President, Living and Learning Enrichment Center
  5. Meet the Makers: Tree Trunk Arts
    A Detroit metalsmith and jewelry designer is transforming greenery into accessories
  6. An Hour With... Carmen McIntyre
    Chief Medical Officer, Michigan Department of Corrections
  7. Fashion Report: Spring’s Top Trends
    Get the look with the season’s best dresses, tops, accessories, and more
  8. City Bakery Finds a Home Inside the Fisher Building
    Detroit gets a taste of New York with the bakery's first Midwest expansion
  9. Meet the Michigan Native Known for His Palm Beach Landscapes
    Keith Williams’ inherent knack for landscaping blossomed from his Bloomfield Hills yard
  10. A-List: Rainy Day Essentials
    April showers bring waterproof makeup, wardrobe essentials in glossy finishes