Thursday, April 14, 2016

Little Free Library: How Can I Turn My Dream of a LFL into Reality? #AtoZChallenge Letter L

A couple of years ago I took a box of YA novels home for the summer and invited students to email me if they needed a book. I had not yet heard about LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES but wanted to help students continue reading through the summer, especially those who had only awakened their inner reader during the school year that just ended. 

My plan was completely unsuccessful, and I abandoned it the following summer. 

When I learned about LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES and the promise they offer for promoting reading, I began plotting to create one. My inspiration comes from a recent post on the NERDY BOOK CLUB blog in which Tommy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan offer their TOP 10 REASONS FOR CREATING A LITTLE FREE LIBRARY.  

I announced to my husband that I want to create a LITTLE FREE LIBRARY as he will be an integral part of implementing the plan. That is, I have delegated construction to him. He's very good with power tools. 

I asked our school librarian if she knows about any LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES in the area, and she told me about one in Chubbuck but knows of none in Pocatello. 
Little Free Library in Chubbuck, Idaho

The Little Free Library pictured above is fairly close to my home. 

To stock my Little Free Library, I'll cull from my classroom library, purchase some new books at the Scholastic Warehouse Sale, and ask for donations from my colleagues. I'd like to have three sections: picture books, MG books, and YA with an emphasis on books that appeal to boys but won't be rejected by girls. 

I plan to have a request pocket in my library, and I'm looking into getting some local Boy Scouts involved in creating and maintaining Little Free Libraries in our area. 

Chubbuck requires every neighborhood to have a park, so I've toyed with the idea of putting the LFL there so it's more visible to neighborhood kids. 

To advertise my LFL and explain how it works, I'll distribute a flyer in the neighborhood once it's up and ready for exchanges. 

I haven't done a lot of research about LFLs, but some things seem commonsensical to me: making it weatherproof; having a simple "how to use" the library document posted inside; including contact information so that I'm aware of problems; having a plan for rotating books and documenting usage. 

School will be out at the end of May, so that's the target date for opening the library. In the meantime, I need to do my homework, which includes finishing plans, constructing the library, checking zoning regulations, and collecting books. 

If you have ideas that will make my Little Free Library a success, please share them. 

Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.--Walter Cronkite