"Little Free Libraries" pop up in MN and across U.S.

10:04 PM, Jan 27, 2012   |    comments
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  • HUDSON, Wis. --  There are some new "libraries" popping up all across the country, including right here in the Twin Cities. The thing is, there isn't a librarian, no need for a library card and the library itself is just about the size of a big mailbox.

    "I wanted to slow down the traffic in front of the house," said Little Free Libraries' Todd Bol.

    Bol's rather creative way to get the attention of drivers was to put a little box on his front lawn, put some books in it and in a nutshell, the "Little Free Library" was born.

    Word spread and others can now be found in St. Paul. There are three on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis and now hundreds from coast to coast.

    Todd said he can take credit for about 40 that he has built. The rest come from a sort of community of little free library contractors.

    When people caught wind of what Todd and his partner from Madison were doing they asked if they could start their own neighborhood libraries.

    "What happens is the great ideas come from the community," said Bol. "You know people step up and like the lady in New Orleans, she's just a fantastic story."

    That woman took things to another level and started a contest where people could earn a library for their neighborhoods.

    The premise is simple. Old books that have sat on shelves get dusted off and go into the box to be read again. Anybody can take one at any time. All that is asked is you either return it or lend one of your own books so that others may enjoy it.

    What started as a way to slow traffic appears on the fast lane to have more pop up.

    "What we would think would be a hoot is if we had enough funding to go around and leave these libraries randomly," smiled Bol.

    (Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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