Silent Sunday: Street Smarts

Little Free Libraries are community-run and supported book sharing outposts that are popping up across the nation in mass numbers. The best map for finding these resources in the bay area is one created by an unaffiliated individual who lists all libraries, “official” or not. For more information about the movement, visit

23 thoughts on “Silent Sunday: Street Smarts

  1. I saw these first in New Zealand, except they have used old fridges or telephone booths or a shipping container to create mini libraries. It’s such a fantastic idea and love the bird house look!

      1. That’s amazing!! It’s even more beautiful than I could have imagined. Now I want to refurbish an old fridge out here and do the same. There certainly are plenty languishing in landfills, that’s for sure.

      2. You totally should! Do those little ones hold good books? I have found that sometimes they tend to hold a lot of romance paperbacks which I admit some people do love very much :) but do they have classics too? I want to build one of those little bird house ones, they are adorable!

      3. It completely depends on the box! I found that the libraries closest to schools were more likely to have children’s books, naturally. It varies every single day, too, as different people take and make their own contributions. It’s always worth a peek inside. :)

  2. Squeeeee! One of them had a curtain! :D

    Thanks for sharing these! I see them out and about in Toronto, too, and they always make me smileā€”not just ’cause the Little Free Libraries are teeny tiny houses, but because they house books and are meant to share! I dig it.

    May I ask over how many days you spotted these? Or did you go on a pilgrimage, so to speak, in search of these lovely community markers?

    1. Exactly! I feel the exact same way, and love how each little library has its own distinctive personality, so to speak. I’ve been enjoying and admiring them for months now, periodically contributing cookbooks when I have extras to spare, but it only occurred to me that I should do them photographic justice last week. I consulted the unofficial map and set out on a mission. It only took me about 4 hours to hit all of those spots on foot though; we’re truly lucky to have such a well-read community out here.

  3. I love this idea, Hannah, (we have some in Naperville, and love the beautiful and quirky ones you’ve shared. I really think this is for me, as I’m such a bibliophile!

    Have a wonderful week!


  4. These are beautiful, and make my librarian’s heart sing. I think I want to make one for my front yard here is Australia. Thanks so much for sharing and I will share with my colleagues at work (I work at the State Library of Queensland, in Australia, and we do lots of work with public libraries) margaret

  5. Great topic for a photographic essay! They are each so uniquely clever, and I love looking at them. We have many little free libraries all around us where we live, including some built especially for children. Each one is a gem.

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