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Caring for a Little Free Library

Curious about caring for a Little Free Library? Come along on this journey to clean up and steward this Little Free Library that needs some love in our community.

Caring for a Little Free Library

Let’s show this little free library some love. If you don’t know what they are, a Little Free Library is a small box where you store books for taking and giving. You can leave a book, take a book, or just clean it up a little bit for the community. To function well, they need a steward, and this Little Free Library near our house is a perfect example. 

For the last couple of years, this Little Free Library (in the youth baseball complex where my boys play) has been collecting a few ratty books and a lot of dust. I’ve walked past it so many times and thought that I really ought to take care of it, but I just never got around to it. This, however, is the year. It’s time to revive this Little Free Library with a spring refresh.

A few weeks before the baseball season started, I purchased a bunch of used books from a community book sale. I chose mostly kids’ books and mixed in a few adult ones. After buying the books, I popped over to the baseball complex to tidy up the Little Free Library and add the new books that I purchased.

When I stopped by to drop off the books, it turned out someone else had the same idea. This is great! I added a few of the books I purchased to round out the collection in the library, and we’ll save the rest for later in the season.

Last year, Reese shared a bunch of tips about stewarding a Little Free Library after she set one up in her community and managed it for many months. She learned a lot of lessons about how to keep the content relevant and help the community make the most of this shared resource. You can check out her post for all her advice.

A Little Free Library is a great way to put old books to good use. There are other ways to dispose of old books, and some books are just too old for people to be interested in them. No one wants science textbooks from decades ago or a ratty SAT study book from the 1990s. But many books that may not otherwise fit into a traditional library collection or be purchased at a used book sale may attract attention as a free option from a captivated audience near the Little Free Library.

I’ve never been a steward for a Little Free Library, but I’ve always wanted to do it. I drive by the little collection boxes and am intrigued by every single one. I’m excited to see how this goes, and I’ll keep you posted. 

If you liked this post about caring for a Little Free Library, you might also like

10 Things I Learned From My First Year as a Little Free Library Steward

Sustainable Craft Ideas: 20 Creative Things to Do With Old Books

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Jen Panaro

Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and advocate for sustainable living for modern families. To find her latest work, subscribe to her newsletter, Sage Neighbor.

In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.

You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.

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