Story at a glance

  • Little Free Libraries have popped up in communities around the country as a way to share books.
  • Now, people are stocking the shelves with pantry essentials for those in need in the community.
  • The effort is one of many organic showings of goodwill during the pandemic.

Posting photos of empty store shelves on social media is out; posting photos of your local Little Free Library is in. 

But instead of books, many people are stocking the shelves of the miniature libraries with essential goods people may need during the coronavirus pandemic. 


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The Little Free Library project began in 2009 when Todd Bol created a book-sharing box at his home in Hudson, Wis. The movement soon grew and is now a registered nonprofit with more than 100,000 outposts in all 50 states and 108 countries. 

Its mission to promote literacy and provide access to books for those who may not otherwise have the resources has been expanded in a number of ways highlighted on social media. On its Twitter account, the Little Free Library has retweeted examples of repurposed libraries around the country, stocked with resources including face masks, toilet paper and nonperishable foods. 


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Whether you're looking to give or get something, you can find the closest little library to you on this map


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Published on Apr 10, 2020