Little Free Libraries Create Inclusive Community


Emrie Good, Editor

As I stood on my front porch and looked over in my neighbor’s direction, I saw a blue mailbox staked in the middle of their yard. As I walked closer I saw its sides were covered with colorful hand prints of the neighborhood children.

I unlatched the door and peered inside. I saw that it was filled with kids’ books. I asked my mom what it was for and as she explained it to me, I realized that all neighborhoods should have this as a positive addition to their communities.

This mailbox is called a Little Free Library. Its purpose is to create an inclusive community by having a book exchange for anyone who likes to read. Little Free Libraries are a free book exchange, meaning if you take one, you leave one.

These Free Libraries aren’t limited to just kids’ books. These mailboxes can be filled with any kind of book, but in this case they’re filled with books ranging from Clifford the Big Red Dog to Thomas & Friends.

When I first heard of this, I was hesitant to believe it would actually help. I thought it was a great idea, but just didn’t think that kids would take the time and actually read the books. However, seeing the neighborhood kids crowd around it has changed my mind.

Creating an inclusive community is an important aspect in any neighborhood. The Little Free Library does exactly this — it brings together the neighborhood kids and is open to adults as well. And although we have reading in our regular school education, we don’t often realize how many people can’t actually read.

In the U.S. there are approximately 32 million adults that are illiterate. I was unaware of how big this number was, and I feel like I’ve been spoiled with having the simple ability to read.

Illiteracy is a startlingly prevalent trend that should obviously be addressed. Having Little Free Libraries in our communities is a small step towards decreasing the illiteracy rate.

Simply put, reading is a crucial part to every person’s life. Reading can also improve one’s ability to write. Without the skills of basic reading and writing, this creates many unnecessary difficulties that can be avoided.

I think having these books available for kids can help encourage them to not only like to read, but also improve their reading and writing skills leading them towards a more successful academic career. Little Free Libraries are a great way to get kids into reading and they are a positive influence and addition to communities.
Click here if you’re interested in learning more about Little Free Libraries or starting your own.