Little Libraries

Our son Buck lives in Cedar Rapids about two houses away from an elementary school.   He had seen on the news that people across the country were starting little honor system lending libraries in their communities and thought to give it a try.

Buck is really handy with wood.  In fact, framing houses is his trade so whipping this up from scratch was no hard job for him.  The painting he said was the worst.

The library will work on an honor system.  Someone takes a book…then they bring one back.  It doesn’t even necessarily have to be the same book they took.  I think it’s pretty neat.  It’s no big deal if the books don’t even come back.  If the kid loved or needed the book he’s happy to have given it.

Well he put out a call to the family that if we’re out thrifting that we should pick up books for his library.  Typically at the local thrift store we can find good books in nice shape for 25 cents each.We’ve been doing pretty good on helping him collect books.  His Minnesota cousins who still have kids who are elementary age have been giving their books to him and as we all thrift we look for some too.

Friends saw that he was doing this and they requested that he make them a mini lending library for them too.


He has no interest to go into business making them but he’s been happy he’s been able to help out a couple people with their project too.

When we bring him books he sorts them…some for him and some for his friend.  They each have different aged kids going past their schools so they are targeting books for the appropriately aged kids.

When he said he was going to do this, I was surprised.  Although he liked reading, he was my most reluctant reader as a kid.  He did love non-fiction though.  I looked and hunted for books for him to keep his interest and keep him reading.  Even now when I’m thrifting to find books I tend to look for non-fiction for his library too.

I’m so impressed with his project.  I’m looking forward to seeing it in person.

14 thoughts on “Little Libraries”

  1. In our neighborhood “free libraries” there is an assortment of books–from toddlers to adult–from fiction to non-fiction. I think there are 4 of them within walking distance of my house.

  2. What a wonderful idea. You son’s libraries are a great place to share books. I am sure you are very proud of him and his gift to others.

  3. In my daughters neighborhood, is a cute library, with two Adirondack chairs next to it.
    People of all ages stop to exchange books. I plan to buy used books at our library book sale to donate to their library. We will donate inexpensive books, and help our library with fund raising.
    Please thank your son for helping others enjoy reading.

  4. What a splendid idea! I’m so impressed! You can feel very proud of having raised such a caring person! Sharing a love of reading with others is one of the greatest gifts we can give another.

  5. There are a few in my area. I try to keep children’s books in the vehicles we drive, so when I pass one I can put them in if I find something that I like. His libraries look really cute!! He did a great job on them!!

  6. Our church has a tutoring program where we have partnered with the poorest elementary in our community. We’ve helped them develop and stock one of these at the school. I think people who work harder to master reading value it more sometimes. How thoughtful of your son to pass that opportunity on to others.

  7. Great workmanship. They look fabulous. What a super idea to provide this service so good luck to him and the others involved. Very considerate.

  8. These little libraries are a neat idea, especially in areas where a public library doesn’t exist or just isn’t very handy. A variety of books for all ages would be good though…not just kids like to read and the adults may not be able to afford to buy books. I commend Buck for his thoughtfulness.

  9. I’m going to be cleaning out my personal library and some books that my grandsons have outgrown, where can I mail them?

  10. How awesome of Buck to take on this mission when he’s not particularly fond of reading! His buildings are adorable and so well done. Be sure to pass on to him our thoughts and praise for a job well done!!!

  11. Congrats to Buck, great idea, this would also be good for small neighborhoods. Proud of your sons spunk and ambition.

  12. I think this is one of the greatest ideas. Good for Buck getting interested in it. Last year I donated five boxes of books, culled from my library, to two young men who wanted to start this project. It felt good to have my books donated to a great cause.

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