'Little' libraries enrich North Texas neighborhoods




Posted on February 18, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 9:13 AM

FORT WORTH — The curbside kiosks are popping up across North Texas — cute, colorful, and chock full of books.

These little handcrafted boxes are part of the Little Free Library movement. Sarah Boyette and her family built one in front of her home in Fort Worth and stocked it with books she and her children had read.

"We just want to share our books," she said. We have lots of books, and we love to read."

Little Free Library started in Wisconsin in 2009 to promote literacy. There are more than 2,500 boxes now in place worldwide.

Anyone can build one; a $25 donation will get you registered with the Little Free Library non-profit organization.

And anyone can come and take a book to read. It's on the honor system; there's no sign out procedure and no charge. Just take a book... read it... and return it.

"It's nice because they don't have to worry about when they bring the book back," Boyette said.

The hope is that kids and adults who might not otherwise have access to books can enjoy a good book with no obligation. And unlike most libraries, the Little Free Library is always open for business.

"I've got books for infants, toddlers, teens... I've got fiction, non-fiction, religious, non-religious... really in that teeny library, I'm very cognizant of what we are stocking," Boyette said.

Besides promoting literacy, the Boyettes have found the Little Free Library binds neighborhoods in another way.

"Sometimes when you see a neighbor, you don't know what to talk to them about," Sarah Boyette said. "But they get a book out of the Little Free Library and it's an instant relationship-builder and conversation-starter.

E-mail tfoster@wfaa.com