Little Library at the park

I love the book exchanges that I sometimes see in cafés or at campgrounds – a bookshelf that says, “Take a book, leave a book.” There is something about getting a free book and sharing a loved book. Last summer I started researching how to build a sturdy, waterproof book shelf so that my kids could start a book share at our local park or school.

Ideas - Little Library at the parkIdeas - Little Library at the parkDays later we were driving past our neighborhood park and I saw what looked like an oversized birdhouse. I stopped the car to find that this tiny unassuming house is filled with a variety of books and magazines for children, teens, and adults. It also has a journal for people to write comments. The journal is filled with “thank you’s” to the anonymous person who created the book share.

I later found out, the person responsible for this incredible community gesture, is one of our neighbors. She is a volunteer at the local library and for her birthday, she asked her family to make a book exchange for the neighborhood park. Her daughter had the waterproof book container built by a local handyman. And there you have it – an amazing gift to our community!

This summer when I took my kids and their friends to the park, I got such a kick that BEFORE playing they would run to the book exchange to choose a book and READ at the park in the shade. Sometimes they bring the book home, sometimes they read for a short while and leave it there. They also remember to take books from their personal libraries that they have outgrown to exchange at the park. This community book exchange is such an awesome way to encourage giving and reading!

Even though we now have a book exchange in our neighborhood, the kids and I still want to make one for another highly visited location in our community. It is a goal that we want to fulfill sometime in the next year. Hold us to it!!

Do you have a book exchange in your community? Have you created a book exchange somewhere? If so, send us pictures!

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