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Little Free Library History

By Brant Skogrand Lifestyle Comments Off on Little Free Library History

Perhaps you have seen them around – a small wooden box of books in your neighborhood. They come in many shapes and sizes. Little Free Library is a free book exchange designed to inspire a love of reading. See a book that looks interesting? Take it. Have a book that you want to share? Leave it.


Two of the Twin Cities townhouse associations that Omega Property Management manages – Coach Homes of Shelard II (pictured above) and Nine Mile Village – have Little Free Libraries. You may be curious, just as we were, about Little Free Library history.


It turns out that Little Free Library started out in 2009 just across the state border when Todd H. Bol designed and built the first one at his home in Hudson, Wis.


It didn’t take long for Little Free Libraries to catch on. A year later, Bol gave away 30 Little Free Libraries to friends and family. Demand grew, and additional builders joined Little Free Library to meet the demand.


By 2012, Little Free Library had become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and built its 2,510th Little Free Library. This was a major milestone in its history, as the goal of surpassing the number of Andrew Carnegie’s free public libraries was reached.


Awards started coming a year later. Reader’s Digest named Little Free Library No. 11 in their “50 Surprising Reasons We Love America.” The National Book Foundation awarded Little Free Library an Innovations in Reading Prize. Library Journal presented Little Free Library with a Movers and Shakers award.


In 2015, a natural milestone arrived – a book! “The Little Free Library Book” shared Little Free Library history as well as color photos of Little Free Libraries, stories of Little Free Library stewards, building plans and more.


To celebrate everything Little Free Library, a Little Free Library Festival was held on May 21, 2016, in Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. Nearly 9,000 visitors attended. That year 50,000 Little Free Libraries were in existence.


In the past couple of years, Little Free Library received accolades from Whoopi Goldberg as well as the Women’s National Book Association. Today there are 60,000 Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide.


To learn more, visit the organization’s website.


Find out more about Omega Property Management’s Twin Cities association property management services.

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