Finding A Little Free Library – Sharing Books with Strangers

Finding A Little Free Library – Sharing Books with Strangers

It’s not every day that a bench appears on a suburban corner, out of nowhere. Even less often, that bench is accompanied by a mysterious metal box full of books.

Yet, that is exactly what I noticed while driving through the town I grew up in a few weeks ago. Right there, across the street from my high school, was a bench and a box of books. With Melissa’s recent post on blender events buzzing in my head, I had to investigate.

I went back to Swift Kick HQ and I made this checklist:

  1. Get picture of scene.
  2. Research if there are articles about it.
  3. Be Nancy Drew.

So what did I find out?

1. Get picture of scene. (check) (see above)

2. Research if there are articles about it. (check)

This turned out to be a fruitless search, no matter what I searched online. I found out that the Little Free Library is indeed an organization. People set them up and add theirs to the map. My town’s little library was not on the map. Dead end?

3. Be Nancy Drew. (check)

After sitting on the bench pictured above completing step #2, and having rummaged through the book box with no clues to its origin, I had to get creative to get answers. I texted my friend who works at the public library in town, asking if they were perhaps connected to this mystery. Another dead end. He said that he didn’t even know the box was there, though now he was also interested to find out more.

After quite a  bit of social media sleuthing, I found one post on Facebook in a group for my town. Apparently, nobody seems to know who put this particular one up, though there are supposedly others sprinkled throughout town.

Phew – so I am not imagining things, it is definitely there. The internet says so.

Why do you care so much about this Little Free Library, Sabina?

Good question! It caught my eye because it seems to be a perfect blender event, and it was smack dab in the middle of my town! Like any good blender event, this  Little Free Library made me do a couple of things:

Go from meh to hmm…

In other words, what would have been a normal drive through town made me stop and engage with my surroundings. #PatternInterrupt

Engage with my community in a new way

Not only did I go BACK to the spot to get a closer look, but I spent time researching the goings-on in my town till I found more information. During my research, I learned some really interesting things about where I live, though unrelated.

Connect with my neighbors

The friend from the library who I texted is actually my fiance’s best friend. Because my normal day was interrupted by the discovery, it gave me the opportunity to chat with him and form a better bond.

Further, I am planning to go back to the little free library, drop off some books I don’t want, and maybe grab a new one. I am now giving and receiving value with people I may not even know at all. And with a bench and a box full of books, the possibility of bumping into a stranger, who then becomes an acquaintance, is much higher than when the corner simply housed a stop sign.

Thanks for joining me on my little adventure! I have lived here for 21 years, and a few weeks ago was the very first time I ever stood on that particular spot. Life is funny, no?

Have you ever encountered something in your town that made you stop and pay attention? Share in the comments below!

Sabina Colleran
sabina@swiftkickhq.com

Sabina is the Community Manager at Swift Kick, and loves that her job is dedicated to helping students be as awesome as they were meant to be. She is a graduate of Fordham University (go Rams!) and has fond memories of being an Orientation Leader and on the board of the Filipino club while in college. Her life goal is to be a perpetual ball of sunshine. Find her on twitter @sabinadeelight!
http://about.me/Sabina.De.Matteo/