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Little Free Library Ltd

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Education, Libraries

Mission: Little Free Library's mission is to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries.

Results: There are more than 100,000 Little Free Libraries around the world, in all 50 states and 100+ countries. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Geographic areas served: Neighborhoods across the United States and around the world

Programs: Each year, tens of millions of books are shared in Little Free Library book exchanges worldwide. There are more than 100,000 registered Little Free Libraries around the globe, in all 50 states and 100+ countries—from California to New York and Nigeria to the Netherlands. Through these small book exchanges, big things are happening! Little Free Libraries promote literacy and a love of reading, provide equitable book access, and build a sense of community. Even better, this is an inclusive movement that encourages people of all ages, backgrounds, and socioeconomic standing to participate. Little Free Library has been honored by the World Literacy Foundation, the National Book Foundation, the Library of Congress, Library Journal, and others. We reach more than 200,000 on our Facebook pages; serve a mailing list of 50,000; and are widely covered in the media, appearing more than 5,000 news stories last year. The Little Free Library nonprofit maintains robust programming to help bring people together, celebrate the joy of reading, and encourage positive community action. Key examples: • IMPACT LIBRARY PROGRAM – Our Impact Fund places no-cost Little Free Libraries in communities where they can truly make a difference. Recipients have included homeless shelters, schools, and other areas in need of greater book access. The Impact program is made possible by individual donors and partner organizations who share a vision for spreading the joy and power of sharing books. Additional dollars come from Little Free Library’s retail sales and Library registration fees. • READ IN COLOR – Read in Color is a new initiative bringing diverse books to Little Free Library book-sharing boxes around the world. Kicking off in the Twin Cities, Read in Color will distribute books that provide perspectives on racism and social justice, celebrate BIPOC and LGBTQ voices, and incorporate experiences from all identities for all readers. We believe everyone should be able to see themselves in the pages of a book. We also know that books can be a window into experiences that are different from our own. By reading diverse books, we can increase understanding, empathy, and inclusion. • ACTION BOOK CLUB – In a twist on the traditional book club, the Action Book Club asks the question: “How can books inspire you to make the world a better place?” Participants read books on a particular theme, engage in lively discussions, and then complete a meaningful—and fun—group project to benefit their community. This is reading and social engagement at its best.

Community Stories

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Stephanie S.17

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our community has grown since we’ve added our LFL especially over the last 6 months! It’s become not only a library but a pantry, a craft market and a plant stand! It’s an extension of our lives and a place to grow & explore in so many ways.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was inspired to join the Little Free Library network, having seen many beautiful Little Free Libraries in neighbourhoods on my travels. The mission of the network is fantastic because, as we all know, reading really is the gateway to everything. The organisation is brilliant - offering a wide range of resources and support for Library Stewards - and the positive impact each Little Free Library has on its community is very impressive. I'm a huge fan of this nonprofit, and am proud to now be a part of this network - bringing the mission of Little Free Library Ltd to North Yorkshire, in the U.K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been inspired by the Little Free Library movement to set one up in my village in England, where I share books with neighbours of all ages. It us much admired and has inspired friends in other villages to do start one of their own. People who ask me about it are always interested to hear about the origin of the organisation and I am proud to be a part of it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have always admired the cute little houses on stands I see around town and in other cities I visit and love to stop to see what gems I might find. I also always loved being able to drop a book knowing that someone else would be able to enjoy it. When we bought our new house it was a dream of mine to get our own Little Free Library. My school actually put one in before I could complete my own and I took great pride in checking it and restocking it with books for my students and others in the neighborhood each week. Finally, this summer my neighbor and I completed ours and I am so happy to report it has been a huge hit! So many people, some I know and see around town, or others I don't know but who see me outside my home, have commented have much they enjoy and appreciate it. The Little Free Library project has been so awesome and it is amazing to see how many countries around the world have started utilizing them. And in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, with most schools and libraries closed, Little Free Libraries have been a godsend for many to find books to read. We even had
Black Lives Matter theme in June and stocked it with Black authors. Our local public library has been adding books not just to the three they steward but to others around our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just started my LFL this year, but the team at this outstanding nonprofit have been amazing in helping me get started. There are great, informative emails to look forward to each month, a strong social media presence that keeps me feeling connected to other LFL stewards, and contests and giveaways that help keep the shelves stocked. Honestly, I've been blown away by their efficiency and care as a leadership team. I'm proud to be a part of the LFL family!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Little Free Library brings neighborhoods together. We have distributed over 200 Little Free Libraries in neighborhoods where kids don't have access to books in Phoenix Arizona. This organization brought an incredible idea to millions of people throughout the world.

-Jake Adams

Board Member

Rating: 5

Little Free Library is eradicating book deserts and changing the ways in which communities engage to enhance literacy. This organization far exceeds expectations and has a positive and direct impact that continues to grow!

Theatregirl622

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Little Free Library team has helped put books into the hands of people who need it most- all over the world. As cofounder of a literary nonprofit, I have had the privilege to work with the admin team and be connected to several LFL stewards all over the country.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has continued to inspire and empower people all over the world.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an educator, a couple of years ago I won some grant money and used it to buy and install a Little Free Library in front of the 3 schools in our district. Some of our students live in an unincorporated area and don't have access to a public library. The Little Library was one of the only ways the students could get books throughout the summer once the school year ended and the school library was closed. Now with the schools, public libraries and stores closed for Covid-19, our Little Free Libraries are the only way students are getting books to read. We can barely keep it full. We are also using the Little Library to put curriculum materials in for students to pick up what they need to continue their remote learning from home. Our students, families and teachers are grateful for having the Little Free Libraries at this crazy time in our lives. What a great role the Little Free Library people are playing in the lives of schools and neighborhoods.

Vicki K.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

A friend who works at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian put out a call on Facebook to people who live or work on Native land to apply for a Little Free Library. I was fortunate to win one. I work on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation at the public high school and my community service based club, the California Scholarship Federation, installed the Little Free Library by the US Post Office. We are a rural mountain community and most everyone gets their mail there. It has been a wonderful success! For a year now, I have kept the books flowing; my goal is to raise literacy and thus combat poverty. Now that we are in the middle of a pandemic, books have become even more important. Last week, I was able to fill it with young adult books for our students to read. I appreciate this organization more than words can say; it has been a true beacon of hope for our community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our very own Little Free Library opened for business in July 2019. The ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony was held in July to celebrate the grand opening of our new Little Free Library made possible by Monica Koenig, Senior Public Health Nurse for Yolo County.

Monica applied to Little Free Library, the national organization, on behalf of Fourth & Hope. It was good news when she found out that Fourth & Hope was awarded one of only 10 across the country for a special impact program in honor of the 10 year anniversary of Little Free Library.

We are thrilled to have this new addition added to our campus and are grateful for our partners at Yolo County Public Health. It is a way for our community to connect and help the homeless population. Just recently a local elementary school’s PTA donated 900 children’s books, which has put smiles on many little faces. Thank you!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little Free Libraries have played a vital role in rebuilding New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Found in front of homes, stores, schools, churches, community gardens, police stations, parks, day care centers and nursery schools, they have helped neighborhoods restore a sense of community. In appreciation for the way Little Free Libraries promote literacy and the love of reading, every year teams of volunteers from the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library devote a day to filling all 200 Little Free Libraries in the city with a big selection of donated books.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello! I had never heard of the Little Free Library organization until we went to MO to visit our daughter. She had just purchased a library and she asked her dad to “plant” it for her. My curiosity was instantly peaked! She explained how it worked and I was hooked! As soon as we got back home, my husband started building me a library. I’ve had it up a little over a year and a half now. It has brought me so much joy! I still get so excited when I see someone drive up to my library! It never gets old! I have kids ride up on their bikes and the daily neighborhood walkers stop by as well. It makes me feel great to know that I am helping to promote literacy. I have a lot of fun with the library as well. I decorate for the different holidays and put little extras in it like bookmarks and pencils etc. for the kids. It helps to bring communities together and it’s nice when you see your neighbors having a chat at your library. It’s a great organization!

Misty Morris

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I saw my first little library in Oregon and I loved it so much. Reading has always been something consistent in my life and I told myself that when I was stable and at a place in my life to give, that I would have a little library too.

I'm there now! We have had our library for 3 years. We share all kind of books and our neighbors visit and use the library as a meeting spot. I've meet so many people because of the library. So many children have taken books!

The support from this community, from this organization, is nothing short of amazing. They have a useful website, a Facebook group for stewards, they keep in contact with a newsletter, and the organization even sets up book support for libraries that need help after storms. I'm proud to be apart of this network.

2 MarcyandPete B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Todd Bol started this movement in honor of his mother. What a great tribute and fantastic opportunity to share stories with all ages. The gift of reading great stories will always stand the test of time

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I was getting ready to retire, after 22 years in my position, I was asked what I would like for a retirement gift. I requested a Lending Library and a box of starter books , much to the surprise of my company. I live in a corner lot home with elementary schools on both streets so I have lots of foot traffic when the children are walking to and from school. I had no idea my library would be so popular!
I check the contents every day I am around and find I am constantly refilling it. I have found I add more books than are returned but I am happy to do so. Reading has provided me with much happiness and joy over the years and I hope my library is giving that to the children that are using it.
I have found garage sales, city library book sales and used bookstores a great source for inventory. My favorite used bookstore, when learning I was purchasing books for a lending library gave me free pick of books from their overstock collection at no cost.
I often run a "theme" library for holidays, animals, teddy bears, fairies, etc., and have noticed enthusiasm from the children when they discover I have a lot of books on something they enjoy.
My husband didn't get my enthusiasm for my Little Library until he started checking the inventory with me, now we both pick out the books and keep our library stocked for the children stopping by.
My library reminds me of all my friends from my former workplace and has lasted long after a gift certificate for dinner or some other token for retirement. My gift keeps on giving both to me and the recipients of the books. The Lending Library concept is wonderful!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a Counselor. I have a client who was recently informed that her child needs help with reading and the teacher told her to buy books to help to improve their reading skills. My client asked if I knew where she can obtain books because she currently lacks finances due to trauma. I told her about Little Free library and gave her a book that was donated to our agency to help her to get started. That way she can have her child read that one book and have an endless supply by exchanging for another book. I have another client who is cleaning up the clutter in her home. She asked if I knew anyone who needed children's books. I located a Little Free Library near her and offered to leave some at two in my neighborhood. She was delighted. As for myself, I've discovered new authors through The Little free Library, which lead to me purchasing new books and I will visit our public library to read more. I believe that The Little Free Library is beneficial to public libraries, the community, and authors.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I first learned about Little Free Library through the "Rotary Magazine" a few years ago. When I became involved with the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee, FL and saw what they were doing for the children of Immokalee through their programs of Early Learning Centers, After School Tutoring and Tutor Corps, I thought that the libraries could be a tool to encourage the little children to read. We know that children living in poverty are way behind in their vocabularies by the time they reach third grade. I found one of five libraries built in Naples, FL for the city parks and that got me started.
So, I decided to provide the libraries along with an initial supply of books through Books4Schools, another Wisconsin organization(I'm originally from WI).
Guadalupe Center received the first Little Free Library (photo). With the partnership with a good friend and woodworker, we have also supplied a number of libraries we built ourselves in Iowa (photo) in addition to purchased ones (cost + freight is expensive).
Several early centers in Collier County, FL and the Quad Cities in IA/IL now have little libraries; also elementary schools in IA and Habitat for Humanity communities in Collier County. Our books are aimed at K-2 children.
We hope we're doing some good!
Mark T Nagan, FL & IA

Penny L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our Little Free Library #66367 in Newburyport Massachusetts is devoted exclusively to piano music! Our LFL is decorated with music note stickers and hand lettering by my piano students. The top of our LFL is an open book and if you peek inside the roof line, viewers are treated to a picture of Ludwig von Beethoven and the music of his famed Moonlight Sonata for piano. My 40 school age piano students maintain the library by putting library cards and the LFL logo in the many used piano music books and sheet pieces that we collect and rotate throughout the year. We were featured in our local paper! It is delightful to watch from the front windows of the studio, the cars that pull up to explore the piano music and it is always exciting to find music that is shared with us. As students grow musically, there is always a question about what to do with their old books that no longer challenges them but may be needed by younger students, for which paying for lessons, maintaining a piano and buying music is a burden on family budgets. We are so pleased to be able to help not only our students, but piano students across our town by offering music for all to learn and enjoy. Studio Owner Penny Lazarus, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would like to recognize Giovanni Seccaveccia who created West Hartford’s Mr. Bookman, Little Free Library Steward and Guardian Facebook page. He personally oversees all of West Hartford‘s Little Free Libraries by distributing books and making sure all of our Little Free Libraries are full and neat. We all really appreciate his hard work and dedication.

Kathy Barrett B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We installed a Little Free Library in the Elsie Priest Park behind The United Church of Christ in Keene, NH nearly 4 years ago. Hundreds, perhaps 1000s, of books have circulated through our LFL. We stock it with books for all ages including board books for babies and toddlers, picture books for young children, early readers, young adult books, novels, poetry, biographies and how-to books for adults. Unique items are sometimes put in our LFL such as calendars, small gifts, and other items to share with others. From June 19-23, 2019 the Walldogs Mural artists are coming to Keene and will paint one of the dozen large murals on the brick wall adjacent to our Little Free Library. We can't wait to see what the mural will look like!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Impact Fund Little Library has been a fantastic organization to work with and help my students receive access to great literature, right in their own community! Their generosity and prompt response to questions and mailing our library was quick and easy. Everything was simple to install and it came stocked with GREAT books to get you going. My students and families love having access to this resource in their community, as the school is a place they are already visiting. The ease of gaining access to books without making a separate trip to the library has been an awesome addition to our community! Without the help of this organization this would not have been possible.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Reading Coach at a small, neighborhood, Title I elementary school, I am always searching for ways to get students excited about reading. Through the Impact Fund at Little Free Library, our school was awarded a Little Free Library so all families in our community can have access to free books at any time, year round. Our students and parents love browsing and taking home books to read.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were so excited to be chosen for the Impact program! The children in our neighborhood love it and it’s been a great way to meet more neighbors. It truly makes a difference for our neighborhood.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Terrific organization that provides tons of support! I love my Little Free Library!!!!

Heather H.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wrote a grant last fall to get a Little Free Library for our local elementary center.
Through the Impact Grant, the school received a Little Free Library box.
I wrote a couple of blog articles on my experience with Little Free Library.
http://elementarylibrary2010.blogspot.com/2016/08/little-free-libraries.html
http://elementarylibrary2010.blogspot.com/2017/03/impact-grant-wrap-up.html

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our nonprofit organization was awarded one of the 'Little Free Library' gift packages.

The 'Kick-Off' is scheduled for Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

We are excited to offer the residents an opportunity to increase literacy within the community.

Thank you - 'Little Free Library'!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great communication and fantastic ideas on how to accomplish goals and how to help the organization. A nonprofit that has made a difference in my neighborhood.

Dr.O

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The LFL program is fantastic. It is proliteracy, proeducation, and propeople. The people are so generous and kind. Not a bad word can be said.
True Service Above Self.
Thank you for the Impact libraries!
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange/os-little-free-library-phyllis-olmstead-20180307-story.html

Previous Stories
2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have very diverse socioeconomic levels in central Florida. We have Heathrow, Sweetwater, and Islesworth replete with good schools, access to book stores, libraries, and private transportion. Then we have Pine Hills, South Apopka, and Parramore with limited access to the Internet, lack of funds for buying books, and barriers to getting library books.

How can we fix these barriers to health, hope, and a good future? Little Free Libraries in neighborhoods where people frequent and by their homes will encourage them to expand their literacy levels, improve their education, and better their careers.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi my name is Dawn, I am an elementary school teacher and always dreamed of being a librarian. I thought having a Little Free Library would help make my dream come true and build young readers in my community. I wrote a request to Little Free Library Impact Fund and was selected to receive a library free of charge. My neighbors and I absolutely love it! This is a wonderful nonprofit that is making communities better, one library, one book at a time.

1 Patsy C. B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Waynesboro-Wayne County Library was so excited to receive a Little Free Library !
Wayne County, Mississippi is located in a rural area with 20,755 individuals in our county and we are the only public library serving the community. Through another grant we now have two libraries, and I have also written a Scholastic grant for books to go inside the library. Please see attached photo. On March 13, 2018 we exhibited the DR. Seuss library at the Mississippi State Capitol for state legislators and the library community. Everyone was very impressed with it.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I fell in love the first moment I saw a newspaper story about Little Free Libraries. The fact that Little Free Libraries were “born” in Wisconsin made it even more exciting. Then, my handyperson posted a picture of an LFL he’d just installed, I called and asked him to make me one too. Overhearing my request, an employee suggested perhaps this would be a project his dad would like to do, and he did! He built Little Free Library #6387, now one of more than 50,000 worldwide! #6387 is just one city block from the large and very popular Roverwest Dog Park and activity is always lively of both donations and takeaways! While dog parents stop, we offer treats for dogs who wait patiently (and often PULL their walkers to the treats). We are an urban neighborhood of single and multifamily homes. Our Facebook page, Little Free Libraries of Riverwest (https://www.facebook.com/Little-Free-Libraries-of-Riverwest-550234955060355/), is bordered by the Milwaukee River in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our libraries have lots of active traffic and contributions of magazines, puzzles, videos, DVDs but mostly wonderful books of all genres and interests.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have loved LFL's for several years! All 9 of my grandkids and one great grand, surprised me with a LFL for my 70'th birthday! My oldest granddaughter is a co Steward with me. It was built with love and care by my son-in-law and has brought so much joy to my life!! So many generously donated books! We love our visitors...who make our LFL magical! Please visit our FB page @ Cumberland's Awesome House of Books!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am getting ready to install a Little Free Library in the Adirondacks (when the snow melts and the ground softens)! I look forward to sharing my love for reading with other residents - summer folks and locals. I have already gotten so much support for the idea and the books are rolling in. The row boat theme is perfect for the surroundings. The LFL website was so helpful!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is one of the best volunteer gigs I've ever had. It totally aligns with my values & interests & aside from a little disagreement with one neighbor who didn't care for my emphasis on general interest books (she'd slipped in something that was of a conservative religious nature -- not my goal), people in our neighborhood have been very supportive & happy that my husband & I installed it. We've had great responses in the little notebook we leave out there, and I enjoy weeding & restocking the LFL from time to time... and seeing what people say about it. It's a lot of fun! I appreciate the support & info this nonprofit offers!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love their mission and support! When I found out about Little Free Libraries, I immediately wanted to have my own and spread the love of reading. I researched information on how to do it and found their resources to be amazing. They have a Facebook page which is interesting and helpful as well as a Facebook page for stewards with great sharing of ideas and tips for having your own successful LFL.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have two Little Free Libraries -- one in rural Clatsop County on the north Oregon coast and one in suburban Portland, Oregon.

Both my libraries get regular use, and folks leave lovely comments in our visitor log.

It's a wonderful way to encourage reading and exchange of books, and make our neighborhoods a little bit richer.

Whatever a reader's tastes, they'll always be a book that appeals in our library!

3 David407

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Little Free Libraries is a remarkable idea that has been embraced in thousands of communities worldwide. By making books free to share between neighbors, a little free library is a sign that "caring people live in this neighborhood." While every LFL is a delightful expression of its owner's creativity, all share essential values:
1) literacy is the foundation of democracy
2) that knowledge is for sharing
3) sharing a book is more satisfying than owning it.
There is still much room for growth. The passion of the founder and the admin team is infectious. This team pours forth new ideas to enliven the 50,000 stewards and enrich their communities. Role: Professional with expertise in this field

2 Joyce12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our town had no library, so a LFL located across the street in a city park seemed like a good idea. It's been a terrific way to cycle books from a fairly extensive library--I'm an English teacher--into the community. I rarely see those who frequent the library, but I was thrilled to hear on a bus ride home one evening, "My family loves the Little Free Library."

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This has been the most amazing thing that has happened in my neighborhood since Stephen King moved in! People love the library, and take very good care of it. They are grateful for the children's books. There are many people living in the neighborhood without much extra to spend on books - and they are the ones who leave the most amazing notes in the guest book. With the struggles that families have making ends meet, the ability to bring extra books home to read - and actually to keep if they want to - is very very needed in today's climate.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Our church in Saint Paul, MN was searching for a way to reach out to the community and a member was kind enough to build us a Little Free Library to mount by the sidewalk. Church members who live across from the church observe that many neighbors stop to browse. It is placed near the children's playground so handy for parents supervising their young ones playing. When I check it to tidy and resupply, I am always happy to see that interesting books have been left by the walkers for others to read. On the side of the LFL, a weather-proof container is attached which offers the church monthly brochure of activities.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So, did I have lots of books to share!!! My house is stuffed with books. So, when I heard about LFL from my daughter, one of my friend's sons had learned how to build Little Free Libraries in a community project and helped me build one too, using recycled stuff from Community Forklift. And, I stocked it up with books from my house. I registered it and got lots of good ideas from the website about how to manage my library. Then, lo and behold, people started contributing books too, and kids would come by and I would hear parents say,"no, only two." Now when I am out in the community and people don't know where I live I say, I have the blue Little Free Library and their faces light up. The founder of LFL came through last year and I had a chance to meet him along with other LFL librarians. It was really inspiring to hear him talk about getting a library out in front of every police department in the country. Such a great community-building tool, and a great way to recycle books I have already read!

4 Mary497

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In January of 2015, I had never heard of Little Free Libraries. Then I came across a picture of a Little Free Library on facebook, so I did a little free Googling and found this incredible organization. Here we are in March of 2017 and my Community of 30,000 amazing, generous, kind and dedicated people now has more than 80 chartered Little Free Libraries in our little 5 square mile city. The Little Free Library organization (which we refer to as our Mothership) has been truly inspirational, ridiculously supportive, helpful in the extreme and a big part of why we are so close to achieving our goal of having a Little Free Library within safe and easy walking distance of every Neighbor in Lake Worth, Florida.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2013 my husband built me a book exchange to share my extra books with the neighbors and friends, then we came across a Little Free Library and I did some research and decided I wanted to be part of this wonderful organization so I registered my Library got my charter number and became a part of this wonderful movement, also I was asked if I would be interested in volunteering by vetting stewards to the new Facebook page -I was just starting retirement and this was a great way to spend my time. Now I am part of the 50000 Little Free Libraries that are giving a sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults and libraries around the world .