|A Little Free Library by Susan McMullan, Lino Lakes, Maine|
This isn't just a loose, unconnected trend, it is an organised initiative with lots of support for would be Little Free Librarians. Have a look at http://www.littlefreelibrary.org for more details. On the website, you can find a Little Free Library near you - regrettably there aren't many in the UK at the moment, and none near me, but maybe there will be soon. If you want to have your own, you can buy one, make one from scratch or browse and download lots of plans, how to guides and so on. Register your Little Free Library with the website and you are good to go. I'm actually really tempted to have a go at setting up and making one of these myself and put it in the front garden (if I do, I'll post regular updates with my progress). The only slight snag is this is something of a grey area regarding the law, specifically whether you need planning permission. It sounds crazy, I know, but certainly here in the UK there's a possibility that in some areas, you need permission to erect a freestanding structure in front of your property. Of course, this would only be an issue if someone formally complained, and it would have to be one miserable sod to do that (but there are quite a few of those about...)
I've always liked fun, clever ideas that promote reading, and Little Free Libraries are just the latest in this trend. Next up, I'll write a bit about an earlier idea which is still going... Bookcrossing. In the meantime, keep an eye out for a Little Free Library near you, or better yet, set one up!