By: Chris Clemens
You’ve likely encountered a Little Free Library at some point. The concept began in 2009 when a Wisconsin man put up a small wooden box in his yard and filled it with books. Anyone passing by was welcome to borrow a book or leave one for someone else. The idea spread quickly, and soon there were Little Free Libraries all across the globe. This year, the movement that inspires neighbors to promote reading is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Here in Rochester, we’ve seen Little Free Libraries spring up by the dozens in just the last few years. You can find them in front of homes, outside churches, public parks, and even at some Monroe County Library branches.
There are many reasons to use them, but even more reasons to install them.
Little Free Libraries offer a way for people to give back to their community in a big way. Neighbors have discovered that using the libraries is a great way to meet others on their street. It’s easy to get introduced to titles you might not have otherwise known about. If you have a book you’ve always loved and wished others would know about, dropping it off in a Little Free Library means someone will soon discover it the same way you did. Best of all, providing a way for neighbors to share books means that you’re contributing to the growth in literacy rates in your own neighborhood.
Little Free Libraries In the North Winton Village
Thanks to these North Winton Village neighbors, we have a great collection of community libraries within a short walking distance from anywhere in the neighborhood. Next time you’re looking to discover a new book, pay a visit to one of your NWV neighbors!
279 Colebourne Road – Two libraries: One for younger and older readers
35 Luella Street
369 Wisconsin Street
Farmington Park – Merchants Road
55 Hall Street
98 Amsterdam Road
330 Humboldt Street
150 Marion Street
The Winton Branch Library also has a community library out front, but its mission is a bit different than sharing books. This one is intended to provide non-perishable food items to anyone in need. If you have any extra canned goods or food items that won’t spoil, adding them to this little library will help anyone passing by who might need a bite to eat.
How To Start Your Own
Anyone can, of course, put up a place in their yard to share books. As you can see from the examples in the North Winton Village, you can get as creative as you like with design and colors.
To make it an official Little Free Library, you can register with the organization and get placed on their global map.
If you’d love to contribute to the neighborhood but worried you’re not creative enough to choose a design, the non-profit organization also provides building plans on their website here. If you’re worried that building one even with plans isn’t a good option, you can purchase pre-made libraries in their website store.
Even if you don’t want to build or host a Little Free Library, you can still contribute! Grab a few books that have been collecting dust on your shelves and help stock up a Little Free Library in need.
About the Author
Chris Clemens is a North Winton Village resident since 2014. He writes about discovering the history, culture, and destinations of Upstate New York on Exploring Upstate.