Libraries come in all shapes and sizes, including in Truckee |

Libraries come in all shapes and sizes, including in Truckee

Truckee's Little Free Library is located at 13710 Donner Pass Road.
Courtesy photo |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — A college friend of mine in Washington recently sent an image of the Little Free Library at the end of her driveway, which she had built with recycled materials, attached to the end of a bus shelter, and stocked with about 15 books.

Anyone is welcome to take or leave books.

Two friends in Wisconsin hatched the idea for Little Free Libraries.

When Rick Brooks, a youth and community development educator at the University of Wisconsin, stopped by to talk to Todd Bol, he asked about the handcrafted structure on a pole in the front yard — a small model of a one-room schoolhouse which Bol had built in honor of his mother.

Why not make it into a little library — a little free library — where people could take a book and leave a book in return?

Their collaborative mission was, “To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide; and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.”

Their goal was to build at least as many libraries as Andrew Carnegie had — 2,510. They registered and trademarked The Little Free Library name, and, in May of 2012, Little Free Library was officially established as a Wisconsin nonprofit organization with a board of directors.

From the original tiny neighborhood library their idea has spread around the globe, and people have generated their own unique designs for front-yard libraries.

The website includes helpful tips for construction and installation, as well as plans for several different structures — everything from a Vermont Covered Bridge Library to an Amish Shed Library.

For just under $35, you can register your little Free Library by filling out a simple form on the website. In exchange, you will receive a Steward’s Guide of tips and outreach tools; the option to be listed on the World Map of Little Free Libraries; eligibility for new books donated by publishers for the cost of shipping and handling only (when available); one Little Free Library official brochure; one bumper sticker; one full page of Little Free Library book labels; three Little Free Library bookmarks; access to downloadable templates, fliers and special pricing on merchandise; monthly E-newsletter with stories, ideas, and special offers; and access to a Facebook group for registered Little Free Library stewards.

By January 2015, the number of registered Little Free Libraries around the world reached 25,000. And, surprise, a quick look at the website’s Locations link revealed that there is a Little Free Library right here in Truckee.

Pam McAdoo is a board member of the Friends of the Truckee Library. Visit to learn more.

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