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AWESOME Category Proposal: Little Free Library

37 posts in this topic

While taking a walk with my wife earlier this evening, we came across what looked like a large mailbox. Upon closer inspection we discovered that it was what's called a 'Little Free Library'. It's purpose is simple: you take a book and leave a book. All the books have been donated and it's all free for the public to enjoy. These little free libraries exist in neighborhoods all over the world and many are custom built to reflect the look of the house they reside in front of. From the littlefreelibrary.org website:

 

In the beginning—2009–Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it. He built several more and gave them away. Each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS.

 

Rick Brooks of Madison, whom he met at a seminar on promoting green practices and a vibrant local economy for Hudson, entered the picture as a colleague exploring potential social enterprises. The two saw opportunities to achieve a wide variety of goals for the common good.

 

They were inspired by many different ideas:

 

Andrew Carnegie’s support of 2,509 free public libraries around the turn of the 19th to 20th century.

The heroic achievements of Miss Lutie Stearns, a librarian who brought books to nearly 1400 locations in Wisconsin through “traveling little libraries” between 1895 and 1914.

“Take a book, leave a book” collections in coffee shops and public spaces.

Neighborhood kiosks, TimeBanking and community gift-sharing networks

Grassroots empowerment movements in Sri Lanka, India and other countries worldwide

 

What a great category opportunity for the Waymarking community! Not only is this project educational and community-oriented, it's also WORLDWIDE. From their website:

 

By January of 2014, the total number of registered Little Free Libraries in the world is conservatively estimated to be between 10,000 and 12,000, with thousands more being built.

 

Their website also has a great FAQ that answers many questions that people have about this novel idea. The website even has an awesome worldwide map that visitors can look at to see where their nearest Little Free Library exists. Visit it here.

 

I've created a Little Free Libraries group and looking for any folks interested in becoming officers of this potential category. I'm so excited to be able to share this exciting activity with the Waymarking community I can hardly contain myself! What's even more exciting about this activity is that ANYONE can create their own Little Free Library and the official website even includes library kits that enthusiasts can purchase rather than try to build their own. Check them out here (I personally like the British red telephone booth library).

 

What do you folks think?

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Here's the link for all those interested in joining the Little Free Librarians group that will hopefully manage the Little Free Libraries category:

 

Little Free Librarians group

 

I'm a little selective in who I will promote as officers in this group so please don't be offended if you don't get promoted.

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There are several of these libraries Close to where I live in Germany that are also Geocaches.

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I don't know if in the link would be accepted but it´s really the same concept with another name.

A nice addiction although... try to submit there and gives us some feedback.

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ARGH! I had no idea there was a Bookcrossing Zones category for these. I thought I was on to something 'special'. Sigh... Thanks, fi67, for pointing it out. Case closed.

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Couldn't you guys just play along, and tell The Beav he had a GREAT idea?

 

I've known about this category, and can't wait to post a waymark for the first Little Free Library I come across.

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They fit into Bookcrossing Zones.

There are a bunch of these street-side library boxes in my area, but unfortunately none of them are listed on the Bookcrossing site as zones. I'll have to drop off a book at one (or more) of them and get it listed on that site, then list it here. It would be awesome if that category was changed to something like "Book Exchange Sites" and allowed non-Bookcrossing sites.

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They fit into Bookcrossing Zones.

There are a bunch of these street-side library boxes in my area, but unfortunately none of them are listed on the Bookcrossing site as zones. I'll have to drop off a book at one (or more) of them and get it listed on that site, then list it here. It would be awesome if that category was changed to something like "Book Exchange Sites" and allowed non-Bookcrossing sites.

 

Eeeeewwwwwwww, I just wanted to say "thank you" for the proposal but if Waymarks of this category MUST be listed at http://www.bookcrossing.com/, then this Waymark will probably be rejected: http://www.Waymarking.com/waymarks/WMK46X_Bcherzelle_Maschen_Germany

 

If so, fi67 isn't right that any free micro libraries fit into the Bookcrossing category! I then misunderstood "Web Address of Bookcrossing zone:" as any link to the people maintaining it all. Maybe we need a new categroy though ...

 

Viele Grüße, Alex :omnomnom:

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I just submitted a Little Free Library waymark to the Bookzone Crossings category. I noticed two previously accepted waymarks of the same type that only included the weblink to the littlefreelibrary.org website, the same as I did. If it gets denied, then I'll mention this forum topic. Denied a waymark because it isn't listed on the Bookcrossing.com website seems too restrictive.

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I am sorry, I have not noticed the requirement to be listed on the bookcrossing web site. This makes it a bit more complicated.

 

In my opinion these little libraries fit the spirit of the category much better than many locations that are listed on bookcrossing.com. Dropping this requirement would be a sensible solution. But it's the category management that has to decide.

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Yes, I'm voting FOR this category proposal with all my 20 fingers.

Few weeks ago I even register to Bookcrossing zones website to understand their concept and possibly try to register one cute location, where we exchange books, but I failed .. I just did not understand all requirements and rules, so I gave up.

It would be great to have not restrictive category for these locations.

 

Thank you for your post.

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May waymark was just denied for the reason it's not listed on the Bookcrossing.com website. I've contacted the officers of the category to inform them that this requirement is very restrictive for the Little Free Library locations and only frustrates and hampers the potential waymark submissions from others. I included a web link to this forum topic and have appealed to them to reconsider their guidelines. I'll let you know if/when they reply.

 

More to come...

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I totally agree with the statements above. The category should be less restrictive (skip bookcrossing.com as a requirement and make it one possible website) or a new category should indeed be opened up for micro libraries and book exchange locactions.

 

As expected, my newest Waymark has also been rejected.

 

Maybe the experienced Waymarkers might help me to find another existing category where this beautiful old telephone booth could fit in if not in a new category?

 

Thanks in advance, Alex

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These kind of situations arise periodically - categories that seem too restrictive to someone. There are three solutions: 1) The category group agrees to open it up 2) A new category is created to fill the void 2) Nothing happens and the gap remains.

 

In this case, I would hope that option one would happen. But, if not, then I think a new category would certainly be in order. Not optimum, but better than leaving a lot of cool places without waymarks.

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In this case, I would hope that option one would happen. But, if not, then I think a new category would certainly be in order. Not optimum, but better than leaving a lot of cool places without waymarks.

agreed

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I have noticed that they are being accepted in the "Libraries" category. I think it fit perfectly there, because although small they are libraries.

 

http://www.Waymarking.com/waymarks/WMJE96_Little_Free_Library_Brainerd_Minnesota

 

Nice! It looks like these cute little libraries DO have a home without having to go through a restrictive process, like the Bookcrossing Zones category. I'll try submitting my Little Free Library location there and see what happens. Thanks for the update, razalas!

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All,

 

Looks like the Little Free Libraries have a home in the Libraries category. Go figure. I'm content with this and won't be pursuing a potential new category for them. With thousands of these little libraries spread out all across the globe, the Libraries category could become a busy place!

 

On to AWESOME Category Proposal #2.....

 

:anibad:

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Don't fit in bookcrossing zones, originally had one approved in that category but later was declined so had to go to Libraries category for approval

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I'm back!

 

So... After further communication with the Libraries category leaders/officers this past weekend I received replies from most and all but one officer were very supportive of a category solely devoted to Little Free Libraries. They also agreed that these mini libraries don't really fit well into the Libraries category and would rather see them waymarked someplace else. With that said, I'm going to press forward with a category writeup and submit it into Peer Review.

 

I know there will be a few naysayers that don't want yet another category for something that could be waymarked into another category, BUT I think these Little Free Libraries are a nice exception to the rule.

 

I'm still getting waymarkers joining the Little Free Libraries group I established and two of the Libraries officers have even volunteered to be officers of a potential category, so it looks like my band wagon is getting more crowded! :laughing:

 

Stay tuned for a category writeup soon!

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Stay tuned for a category writeup soon!

Yea from me, fingers crossed.

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Can't recall having heard about these little libraries which is understandable given there are only 8 registered in OZ. One is in a pub which is part of a Country Pub Tour which operates from 11am to 6pm Tuesday's - there's a headache. I'll have a book & a beer please. Its a great looking pub built in 1881 so should this get up will make a point of visiting it. Your shout. Cheers.

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Folks,

 

After much communication with the Libraries category officers as well as others in the Waymarking community, I have created a category titled 'Little Free Libraries' that is ready for Peer Review. All but one of the Libraries officers that responded to my inquiry regarding devoting a category specifically for Little Free Libraries agreed that they didn't want them submitted into their category and would fully support a new category devoted to these smaller locations. The other officer was undecided. Current and previous Little Free Library waymarks would be grandfathered and they would deny future submissions and request the waymarker to submit Little Free Library submissions into this 'hopeful' new category. It was also agreed by all who I communicated with that although the Little Free Libraries locations could cross-waymark into the Bookcrossing Zones category, the requirements to submit one there have hampered and frustrated many waymarkers to the point that they just give up. Having an exclusive category for these locations would encourage waymarkers to submit more of these into this potential new category. Keep in mind that the official Little Free Libraries website mentions over 10,0000 of these locations and growing worldwide!

 

The Little Free Librarians group is a dozen strong so far and I have had nothing but positive feedback and support to devote a category specifically for these cute and charming free book exchange locations.

 

The following link will send you to the Little Free Libraries category page to view what I've written up. Any comments/suggestions appreciated:

 

Little Free Libraries

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I REALLY don't like the idea of a "custom address" in the title. This is a coordinate based activity, and an address is great as a variable, but I don't like it in the title. Just my opinion on that matter.

 

If I visit the library, but you THINK my photo looks like a drive-by photo, you will delete it? That doesn't seem very fair. I don't think this threat is needed in the description.

 

There is NO photo requirement to post a waymark in this category, but one photo is required for visit logs?

 

I LOVE Little Free Libraries, and can't wait to submit my own.

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I REALLY don't like the idea of a "custom address" in the title. This is a coordinate based activity, and an address is great as a variable, but I don't like it in the title. Just my opinion on that matter.

 

If I visit the library, but you THINK my photo looks like a drive-by photo, you will delete it? That doesn't seem very fair. I don't think this threat is needed in the description.

 

There is NO photo requirement to post a waymark in this category, but one photo is required for visit logs?

 

I LOVE Little Free Libraries, and can't wait to submit my own.

 

Thanks for your comments, Max and 99. In reference to the title being required to put in a custom address, the objective is to differentiate two Little Free Libraries that may be next door to each other or on the same street (apparently, these exist ). I'll work on the wording to make it more clear in what I want.

 

Thanks for the heads up to require a photo to waymark! I forgot that.

 

Also agree on the drive-by visits. I'll remove the denied text.

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Hey Beav.

The coordinates would distinguish one library from another one close by. Maybe it's just a personal thing, but I don't think I'd pay much attention to an address when looking for a Little Free Library. It's usually the coordinates that get me to a waymark. There are exceptions, but generally speaking I think the coordinates should suffice, except for a variable addition.

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This category gets an enthusiastic YES from me when it is in peer review. I cannot believe how many new Little Free Libraries have been established in my area since I last checked (I knew there were waymarks for these).

 

After looking at the ones near me, I noticed that many do NOT give an address, just a corner/intersection. Is that what we would put in the title, the intersection: SW 2nd St. & W. Catalpa St.?

Edited by Max and 99
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The description (and obviously the title) seems to focus a lot on the "Little Free Libraries", but there are lots of others that aren't part of that program or listed on that site (there are half a dozen in my town, none of which are listed on that site). The part that says "They are also referred to as..." sort of implies that they don't have to be listed on that website to be in this category, but it might be good to state that more explicitly and/or reduce how much "Little Free Libraries" are mentioned in the description. This category is for any small, free, roadside book exchange, correct? I would hope it wouldn't be limited to just the ones listed on that site, because that wouldn't be any improvement over the Bookcrossing Zones category.

 

Personally, I would make the category name more generic, maybe something like "Roadside Book Exchanges" or "Book Exchange Boxes", but that's just me. Regardless, I'll certainly give this one a Yea and if it gets approved and any such exchanges are welcome, I'll be Waymarking the ones around here.

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This category is for any small, free, roadside book exchange, correct? I would hope it wouldn't be limited to just the ones listed on that site, because that wouldn't be any improvement over the Bookcrossing Zones category.

 

 

Ditto that.

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So, the consensus is to allow ANY book exchange, whether it be a Little Free Library or not. Ok, with that said, it will require a new category title such as 'Free Book Exchanges' and reworking the wording in the long description to downplay the Little Free Libraries info as mentioned by The A-Team.

 

I'll work on it.

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Some of these libraries are indoors and have limited access, and it would be great if the waymark would specify the days/hours it is available. This is something to consider for a variable.

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There are two forum discussions on this same topic, but I will keep my comments/questions to this one.

 

First: what a successful category this is turning out to be. Great job, Beav!

 

Second: I wasn't a fan of the "Extra Credit" variable. I am 99.9% sure that when the category was in peer review, the variable was listed as extra credit, but nothing more. Now that the category is live, I see that the "Extra Credit" is available for waymarkers to indicate any book they exchanged at the free library (I like this). My question is this: is it a glitch that the reason for the extra credit isn't listed when the category went to peer review, or is that something that was added later, by the category owner? I am just curious, wondering if I missed it in peer review, or it was added later. I now think it was a great variable to include.

 

Third: Is there a waymarker out there who is experienced with the Bookcrossing Zones who is willing to answer some questions? I am a little confused after reading the category description and exploring the Bookcrossing website. I need help!

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Third: Is there a waymarker out there who is experienced with the Bookcrossing Zones who is willing to answer some questions? I am a little confused after reading the category description and exploring the Bookcrossing website. I need help!

 

It will be better to discuss separate topic in separate forum thread.

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Agreed. This should be a separate forum topic. And good luck communicating with the Bookcrossing Zones officers. They never responded to any of my inquiries regarding Little Free Libraries, hence the new Free Community Book Exchanges category.

 

😁

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