July 25, 2012
SLIDESHOW: Little Free Libraries in Toronto
by Ellie Robins
Toronto is the latest city to embrace Little Free Libraries, the international movement featured on MobyLives in February. Little Free Libraries do exactly what they say on the tin — they’re tiny lending libraries with no membership requirements or late fees. Anyone can start one and register it with the organization to make it official. Build a small free-standing structure, fill it with books, and you’re away. Borrowers are supposed to return the book borrowed — or another in its stead — when they’re finished, and though that often doesn’t happen there’s so much goodwill towards the initiative that there’s rarely a shortage of donated books.*
Torontoist reports that local 79-year-old Bill Wrigley was the first to start an LFL in the city, and that he now aims to install a total of twenty. He believes there are six or seven in his local area, though only two are registered.
Bill Wrigley’s original Toronto Little Free Library
A potential borrower.
The area’s other registered Little Free Library.
A Bill Wrigley library under construction.
* Which is one of many reasons that, heartwarming as they are, initiatives like this will never be an adequate replacement for public libraries.
Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.