Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that increases book access to readers through a “take a book, leave a book” free exchange.
LFLs usually take the shape of mailboxes or birdhouses and are often placed in areas with high foot traffic. Anyone is welcome to take a book to read.
The LFL mission is to inspire a love of reading and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world, LFL Program Manager Margret Aldrich said.
“People really want to build a community where they live and give back, and this is a way to do it and at the same time create book access and build a culture of reading,” she said.
The nonprofit’s founder, Todd Bol, built the first LFL in 2009 in memory of his mother who was a teacher and lifelong reader. After seeing the community’s positive response, Bol decided to start the nonprofit in 2012. Bol died in October.
Now there are more than 75,000 LFLs worldwide in 50 states and 88 countries.
At an LFL, anyone can take a book or leave a book, even if they do not have one to share. This gives book access to people who may not have access to books otherwise.
Highland Village LFL owner, or steward, Kelly Heslep said the importance of LFLs is to encourage a community of readers, to share and enjoy the power of books, and to give everyone the opportunity and access to free books.
“I love to read and love my neighborhood,” Heslep said. “It gives me so much pleasure to see people of all ages at the library. In fact, during the school year there will often be a line waiting to check out the library offerings.”
Frank Vaughan said that he installed his LFL in Lewisville in 2014 after discovering the program online.
“It is a way for me to give to the neighborhood I live in,” Vaughan said. “We provide books to a population that may not have access to a library.”
Vaughan said his LFL gets emptied out every few days, so he provides a mixture of children’s and adult books that he buys or receives through donations.
He said he lets the community choose themes of the week through social media and provides some basic school supplies in the summer before school starts.
“In the winter we switch to more grown-up books and novels,” Vaughan said. “I have one elderly patron who cannot drive anymore. She enjoys Westerns, so I keep a stock of Louis L’amour for her. She is always very thankful for the LFL.”
Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village are home to several LFLs.
For more information on LFLs or to register an LFL, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.
6705 Orchard Drive
3999 Churchill Drive
3808 Granby Lane
2500 Lakeside Parkway
1806 S. Old Orchard Lane
1526 Bellaire Blvd.
206 W. Main Street
311 Herod Street
2501 Queen Margaret Drive
812 Silverthorne Trail
2200 Briarhill Blvd.
223 Turpin Drive
500 Highland Village Road