Saturday, January 12, 2019

Todd Bol and Little Free Library movement

Todd Bol died recently at 62.  He was the founder of the Little Free Library. They grew out of his pain and grief over the loss of his mother.  There’s not a lot in life that’s free, but at the Free Library, you could get a book for nothing.

Little libary, global concept: Marcellus Free Library ...

There are several Little Free Library boxes in Lakeside, Ohio, where we spend our summer, and I’ve counted at least 3 on my morning walks. They are great for picking up an old novel or even a text book about a  topic you know nothing about. And they are just as good for finding a good home for your summer reading.  But I haven’t seen any around Upper Arlington where we live.  Maybe because we’re so close to public library branches, church libraries, The Ohio State Libraries, Chemical Abstracts library, and Battelle Library.

They’ve only been in existence for a decade, and now there are 75,000 of them around the globe—all 50 states and 88 countries.  You could order one, or the blueprints for one, or build your own.  Some are quite fanciful. It must have been an idea whose time had come.

“In recent years, some social entrepreneurs have taken the Little Free Library idea and extended it to other things. In Fayetteville, Arkansas, Jessica McClard in 2016 started the first Little Free Pantry outside the Good Shepard Lutheran Church. She told ABC News that she makes sure to check the pantry every day because “it turns over in about 30 minutes” after the day’s supply of canned food is placed in the pantry.

In Lansing, Michigan, Adriana Flores, who recently got a master’s degree from the Michigan State University School of Social Work, created the E² Box to supply toiletries and feminine hygiene products (tampons, sanitary pads) not covered by government assistance. Why “E Squared?” Because, Flores says, that stands for “empathy and equity.” Right now there is only one E Squared Box, but Flores hopes to create more.”

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