The Little Free Library movement is a great initiative where people create a bookshelf of some sort in a place accessible to the public. People are then welcome to take a book and leave a book. It's as easy as that. These little libraries are all over the country but Melbourne, particularly the west, has fallen in love with the idea.
Little Free Libraries are often up-cycled from old cupboards but are sometimes custom made and beautifully detailed. However they are made, their purpose is the same - getting books to everyone.
Tracking down little free libraries is all part of the fun. There are official databases with thousands of listing of registered libraries but we found that many more in our area that were not included. The only way to find these other little libraries was to discover them while out walking or be told about them by another book worm.
It's become a little tradition for us to fill a bag with books we have finished with and do a little free library run, visiting five or six at a time and coming home with a new stack of books freshly traded for.
The biggest of the little free libraries is in Melbourne Central, it is open during shopping hours and is a room of books and even two chairs to sit and read. Some other favourites of ours are the Hedgecorner Little Library in West Footscray and the Kingsville St Library in Kingsville. Both always have a good selection of children's books. Seddon Train Station has two within a short walk of the platform if you are looking for a fresh read for the commute.
The Little Free Library website also has details for those, like us, who are considering setting up a library of their own. Pinterest is a fantastic source of inspiration on how to up-cycle some unconventional materials into a library as well, everything from a microwave to a canoe! Hopefully we will see the trend grow even more and there will be Little Free Libraries continuing to pop up everywhere!