Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Informal Libraries

A fad here in the States is informal libraries, a row of a few books outside businesses,  homes, etc that encourage a passerby to take a book and leave another. They may appear and disappear  quickly or be more permanent. Some are quite elaborate structures and others mere boxes or stacks of books placed out each day. I thought this practice was unique to the US, but found in my recent travels in southern France, this is not the case.

In Toulouse, one such library was constructed in a well-traveled, public square and looked more like a sculpture until I got closer. Here was a sign encouraging the exchange of books with a few displayed behind glass doors that easily opened for access.

In a small nearby town, children’s books were stacked outside a shop at ground level for easy access by little ones.  While outside another shop they were placed upright on a shelf.  At both places a sign encouraged readers to take or leave a book. It is wonderful when individuals can become involved in sharing books with strangers.

1 comment:

Carolyn Niethammer said...

Here in Tucson they are called "Little Libraries" and I have seen some really cute ones. I've got to get my husband to build something for our front yard.