Little Free Libraries

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Little free libraries is a concept which began with a group in Wisconsin and has spread across the country and the globe. Have you heard of this phenomenon? You put out a box full of books and allow the public to take a book to read and give a book for others to enjoy. These boxes are being added to public parks, downtown areas, and neighborhoods.

This is a fabulous way to promote literacy and encourage students of all ages to share/donate their books that they have already read. Gardens on Green is a public education garden supported by the Master Gardeners of Hall County, Georgia (of which I am affiliated). We kicked off this concept for the county with three boxes: one for elementary school, one for middle school and one for high school level readers.

Georgia state bird: Brown Thrasher
The boxes have been painted to tie in the garden theme and the state symbols of Georgia. Our state bird: the brown thrasher; our state butterfly: the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail; and, state tree: the Live Oak.

Georgia state butterfly (showing the life cycle): Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
The purpose of the little free libraries began as a way to support community libraries by extending their reach to areas in the community that may not otherwise use them. Many boxes are being themed with ideas such as "We're Cooking Now", "History in a Box", "House of Health & Wellness" or a "Celebration of Culture & Community. The ideas are endless!

Georgia state tree: Live Oak
At Gardens on Green the libraries have been seeded with gardening themed books to encourage not only reading but also life in the natural world. Think faeries, dirt, insects, life cycles, seeds, exploration, dragonflies, amphibians and wildflowers. There are so many ways to get immersed into the world of nature! And if you are a parent of a young student you can use the books as a way to introduce gardening concepts to your child. Most recently we had a group of students who made magical faerie houses using elements found in the garden. What a great way to create memories and maybe even ignite a passion for nature!

So grab a book and find a comfortable place to sit in one of the 7 themed gardens that make up Gardens on Green (vegetable garden, pollinator garden, native garden, conifer garden, bulb garden, gold medal garden and deer resistant garden) and enjoy your read!

You can take the book home but don't forget to put a book in the box that you think others may enjoy.

Gardens on Green is a public educational garden located at 711 Green Street, Gainesville, Georgia and is a collaborative effort of the Hall County Master Gardeners and Hall County School System

For more information on Little Free Libraries click here


  1. What a great idea. I just joined a community garden in the spring and have back issues of organic gardening that other gardeners might find useful. One of the bureaus at work has a mystery bookcase, too. Anyone can take a book or leave a book.

    1. That is great Theta! You will have to keep us posted on your community garden activities.

  2. Great idea. More communities should adopt this process. Love the boxes. They are so beautifully painted.

  3. I'm trying to remember where I first read about this. What a clever idea!

  4. I read about this library movement not too long ago. What a fabulous idea!! That is so great you got to be involved in setting one up. I hope it gets lots of use! I love the cute little fairy gardens, too :)

  5. What a great idea - kudos to the Master Gardeners of Hall County for furthering this idea.

  6. I love this idea. did you know they have a Facebook page?

  7. I love these! We have several in our neighborhood, and plan to add one to our property. It's a great concept, and the idea of adding a garden/nature theme is wonderful!

  8. I love this idea and will bring it to the city where I is perfect to tie in the schools and the public library with the parks...

  9. I've heard of this idea and think it's really cool. I've also heard of people who leave books in public places that have had the interior pages stamped with instructions to return them to another public place after they've been read. I really love that the book boxes are themed. :o)

  10. I haven't heard of this idea either, but I like the concept of extending the reach of libraries. It is nice that the boxes are decorated and themed. I think kids especially would like this idea.


Post a Comment

One of my favorite things about blogging is the conversation with readers. Leave a comment and let's get talking. ~Karin

Popular Posts