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.
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.
What an ingenious idea! Little Free Library steward Carol Ann M. of Anacortes, Washington, is sharing home-sewn face masks in her library. Find more libraries offering food or household items on our sharing-box map: https://t.co/lnasOePu4C pic.twitter.com/U40wPD5doT
— Little Free Library® (@LtlFreeLibrary) April 5, 2020
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We have decided to temporarily re-purpose our Little Free Library, found in front of our school, into a Little Free Pantry. “Take what you need, leave what you can.” If you want to donate and find the “pantry” is full, just place your items on our red bench out front. pic.twitter.com/QciShIjGFk
— MJHS Rebels (@mjhsrebels) April 9, 2020
We know many in our communities have lost their jobs, are stressed and having a hard time making ends meet. That’s why we turned our blue Little Free Library at Osborne Park (near the lake) into a Little Free Food Pantry. Please take what you need and donate what you can! pic.twitter.com/jLHtlMsqRW
— W-E Library (@WELibrary) April 6, 2020
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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