Little Free Library – Take One, Leave One

Free libraries? Haven’t libraries always been free? What’s so special about a small, free library? Let’s go back to the beginning…….

In 2009, Rotarian Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading.  He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard.  His neighbors and friends loved it.  He built several more and gave them away.  Each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS.  And so Little Free Libraries were born. original-lfl

Little Free Libraries offer a way to promote literacy and love of reading by building free book exchanges throughout communities worldwide. The concept is simple: take a book, leave a book.  Because they’re small, they can be placed almost anywhere, creating a meeting place in neighborhoods, parks and other locations where people gather.

A committee of Youngstown Rotarians has been formed to bring Little Free Libraries to our area. The first site has already been chosen, and Rotarian Mike Shaffer has committed the Youngstown YMCA, fitting, since it’s where we meet each week for lunch. Three other locations have also come on board:  YNDC, Crandall Park and SMARTS. Currently, there are 30 Little Free Libraries in Ohio. This committee’s first big goal is to help facilitate the installation of 31 in and around the Youngstown metropolitan area starting with the YMCA, downtown – one more LFL than the state total.

You can help spread the library love by facilitating the placement of a Little Free Library where you work, shop, or play. AND you can help find donors who might be interested in sponsoring one. As always, it costs money to build these little works of art.

For more information, call or email Elayne Bozick, or give her a holler at Rotary. To read more about Little Free Libraries, visit their website at



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