Little Free Libraries appearing around Memphis with more to come | Community Spirit
Little cases shaped like tiny houses are popping up all over town, and from a distance some could even mistake it as a birdhouse - until you look closely and see it is filled with books.
There are 15 Little Free Libraries in the state of Tennessee, and five of those are in Memphis.
Based on a "take a book, leave a book" concept, anyone could walk up to a Little Free Library and grab something to read.
According to the Little Free Library’s website, the structures fit in a front yard, by a sidewalk, a coffee shop or park and are just big enough to hold 20 to 30 books that kids and adults can give and take.
"When I saw it, I was like, it’s such a great idea - it’s so cute, and so important to community," said local Little Free Library owner Kim Guleff.
Guleff said that within the first hour of her library being open, 60 percent of the books were already gone.
"I'm not worried about restocking, we have been blessed with a lot of books, and you would be surprised to see how many people really use it," she said.
Guleff's library was made by her husband, he made it out of an old doll house.
They painted it yellow with blue shutters to reflect characteristic in their Midtown subdivision, the Annesdale Snowden historic district.
"We're proud to be here and we like our neighborhood, and the idea that Little Free Libraries are all over the world, it's phenomenal," she said.
Guleff said that she is also happy to promote literacy in the Mid-South and provide books for those who may not be able to afford them.
She said that her cub troop is making two more for Overton Park. The libraries will be stocked by Books from Birth.
“One impact I have seen in my neighborhood is that it has really brought the neighbors together,” said another Little Free Library owner Jennifer Boren.
“It's amazing how something as simple as a book can be such a great conversation starter. Before we installed the Little Free Library we didn't know very many of our neighbors very well. We have gotten to meet some really neat people and everyone that stops by always comments on how happy it makes them to get a new book from the library," she said.
Boren works as a librarian at Bon Lin Middle School in Bartlett.
She’s seen her students come all the way from Bartlett to Midtown to drop by her little library.
“People ask me frequently if I think books will be replaced by computers, but with the Little Free Library trend I believe books will be here for a long time to come! I see new books everyday in the Little Free Library and so I believe there is still a large majority of people who enjoy reading a printed book,” she said.
Little Free Library created a Google Map of all of the registered Little Free Libraries in the United States, you can see it by clicking here and find a Free Little Library near you.