6 Reasons Why the LFL is a Thing

Posted by Ericka Smith on

In my love letter to the local library (the one in which I gushed over the institution, began a bucket list, & went on an impromptu literary vacay with the hubs), I touched on my renewed regard for the Little Free Library movement.

Here are 6 reasons why I think the LFL movement is becoming a global philanthropic literary phenomenon. 

1. They are neighborhood art installations!

I mean, just look at the astounding creativity that goes into each one. Sure, some are boxy and "just business," but so many more are themed and never cease to inspire in me a want of offering our own Little Free Library to our neighborhood.

2. They encourage literacy.

According to a Forbes study, last year the literacy rate in the US was about 54%. That translates into roughly 130 million people reading below a 6th grade level. This impacts our economic growth & health, the study showed.

But...I wonder what larger impact a lack of literary proficiency leaves on the individual. Or the family. 

LFL's are approachable, even to discouraged readers, because they are fun. They are accessible, open when institutional libraries are not. And because of the creativity that goes into them, they are engaging, encouraging all reading levels to  check them out. (See what I did there? A little library humor. Oh! There I go again!)

3. They support unplugging.

According to Psychology Today, "new studies show that turning off the television, unplugging other digital devices, and reading a book before bedtime can: improve a child's brain function, mental imagery, imagination, theory of mind (ToM), and make a child more empathetic." Open 24/7/365, the Little Free Libraries are more accessible than traditional libraries and the fun atmosphere they lend to the reading experience {hopefully} prompt people to pick up a book instead of a screen.

4. They create community.

If you've ever seen a Little Free Library in someone's yard, you've likely seen the people that began it. Let's face it. They seem to be front yard type people. The kind that love books AND their neighbors. Visit their Little Free Library and you will make a new friend. Return again and you will have made a friend for life. 

5. They are budget-friendly.

Not only are they free, but they don't even require a library card! On a tight budget? Your finances finding it hard to keep up with your bookish lifestyle? Your friendly, neighborhood Little Free Libraries speak your love language - fluently!

6. They expand your literary horizons.

They are little. And they are stocked by the owners and users. Not all of them are going to have your go-to genre. And that's a good thing! Expand your mind with a new type of book. I bet you'll be glad you did.

What do you think?

Do you run a Little Free Library?

Do you want to build one?

To learn more, find all things Little Free Library here


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