BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, August 13, 2012

Micro-libraries, a new trend

It seems as if all of a sudden, every time I log into facebook or twitter, there's a new item about micro libraries. What is a micro library? According to this post, a micro library is a community curated outside library of free books. They can be located in mailboxes, cars, former phone booths, any available space easily accessible on or from the street. There are now different groups devoted to establishing these micro libraries throughout the US and I've even heard of a few outside of the US.

One such group is the Little Free Library; they have installed hundreds of micro-lending stations, largely on private properties around the United States and Canada. They also provide instruction in starting your own.

As I understand, these micro-libraries are not trying to replace traditional public libraries, but supplement. They are completely volunteer and donation based, community run and often innovative. While they lack the resources and support of a traditional library, the collections are eclectic, the hours are often 24/7, often no card is needed, and sometimes they're available in areas where traditional libraries are not.

I love libraries, and I love that in the US, libraries are free; you borrow a book, get to read it, return it and there's no fee. There may be fees for other services, depending on your library, but the access to a large collection of books, for's an awesome concept. But even the traditional public library has it's drawbacks and it seems like the micro-libraries have the potential to supplement and fill needs that the public library can't. I'm delighted to see them spring up and I hope they continue to grow and flourish. 

For more info and some pics of micro-libraries, try here, here, here, and here.


  1. I've been hearing about these everywhere too! I just read an article (or was it a blog post?) on "book trees" in towns, where there are basically just boxes of books under a certain tree to take or to leave. But I was totally puzzled by this one, because it says it runs in all weather - and even had a picture of the boxes in the snow! (Wouldn't they get wrecked? I couldn't quite grasp that info from the article. . . )

  2. Huh, that does seem like the books would get wrecked. There must be some way of keeping them dry, hmmm. Curious.

  3. I think it could be an awesome idea, not heard of anything like it in England. Our lmain libraries in our area are struggling and the councils are closing some of the smaller ones to save money, so ppl have to travel a fair distance to get a book. I think it could lead to books getting trashed or not brought back. Oh I just remembered something from years ago, there used to be a big van that came around and it was a mobile library. Tis stopped I think or still goes on in select areas. Not sure how well it works xx

    1. It seems like libraries everywhere are hurting, which is a shame as they are so essential.

      Over on facebook, someome posted a photo and link to a micr0-library in the UK. I'll see if I can find it; got it.


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