Little Free Libraries - San Francisco to San Jose

The "Little Free Library" movement is gaining momentum here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jackson Street mini libraryOn a recent walk through the Pacific Heights neighborhood in San Francisco, I spotted this mini-library in the front yard of a house on Jackson Street.

I've spied others in the Ladera area of Portola Valley, and several in the Willow Glen area of San Jose.

Little Free Library started in 2009 by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher who loved reading. The movement spread quickly. As of January, 2014, a conservative estimate has 10,000 - 12,000 registered Little Free Libraries. And it continues to grow.

The mission of Little Free Library is two-fold:

  1. to promote literacy and the love of reading worldwide by building free book exchanges, and
  2. to build a sense of community across generations

What a nice way to spread the joy of reading, meet your neighbors, and recycle books! I have a book or two I plan to drop off, and who know what I might pick to read next?

If this idea intrigues you as it does me, you'll enjoy watching this short video:

What is springing up in your neighborhood? A Little Free Library, perhaps?

 

--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®

Today | Sotheby's International Realty

San Carlos, California, 94070

CA BRE#01215160; 650-465-4547

Lottie@LottieKendall.com;

www.LottieKendall.com

www.SFCondosForMe.com

 

 

Comment balloon 43 commentsLottie Kendall • March 22 2014 07:45AM

Comments

Hi Lottie -- I've read about this phenomenon and I think it's a great idea that truly enhances the real idea of a neighborhood.  The accompanying video is also very good.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 3 years ago

Lottie~ we have the same thing in Belmont Shore, and the kids/adults really love it & take care of it... later, I will see if I can take a picture of ours and insert it

Posted by Jon Kolsky, Licensed California Real Estate Broker (Kolsky Realty & Management) over 3 years ago

Hi Michael, Little Free Libraries is a delightful trend.

Jon, I'd love to see a picture of the Belmont Shore mini library. This is a great phenomena

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

This is a great idea for any community. I posted this on facebook and shared it with the Mayor of Gaithersburg and the chairman of the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) over 3 years ago

Nice way to spread the word, Roy! Have you seen any of these appear in the Kentlands, or Montgomery Village? With your love of reading and community spirit, mayble you'll get the ball rolling in your neighborhood.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

Lottie, I love this idea. What a great way to foster learning by making it fun and exciting for children. Also, a great way to build a sense of community amongst neighbors. Love it! The video was excellent, as well.

Posted by Lisa Friedman, 28 Years of Real Estate Experience! (Great American Dream Realty) over 3 years ago

What a GREAT idea!! I see libraries like this in the islands all the time. I hope more neighborhoods implement them.

Posted by Manuela Baginski, bilingual Real Estate Professional in Tampa Bay (Coastal Properties Group/Christie's International Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Lottie, what a great idea - although my friends who write books really like people to not just read them, but to buy them!  Anyway, hope this one catches on.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Lottie

The Little Free Libraries sounds like a great idea.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 3 years ago

Lisa, Little Free Libraries is a captivating idea, isn't it?

Hi Manuela -- I think this is a great idea, too. We're not alone, as there are 10,000-12,000 of these scattered around worldwide.

Pat, there's always need to buy books--but recycling in this manner is great for community building as well as literacy.

Lou, I think so too.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

Good morning Lottie. I have never seen anything like this before, what a wonderful idea and one that keeps on giving.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 3 years ago

Good morning, Lottie. This is the first time I have seen one of these. Neat!

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 3 years ago

Hi, Lottie!  Just wanted to let you know that I included this post in today's Last Week's Favorites.

c

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Hi Joe -- Maybe you should start one in your neighborhood??? It's a delightful idea.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

Good morning, Pat -- how nice of you! Little Free Libraries are a delightful idea--maybe one or two new ones will spring up in the Active Rain community!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

Michael, I think so, too. In fact, one walk this week will have the purpose of leaving and taking a book.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

Lottie, very interesting concept and with a great purpose in mind - spreading literacy. Not seen around here but I am sure this will be all over, soon.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (eXp Realty) over 3 years ago

Good morning, Praful. One Active Rainer has seen them in southern California; I'm waiting to see who else has spotted them--or better yet, who plans to erect one!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

Lottie - That does sound like fun. If I lived in an actual neighborhood, I could start my own with the pile of mystery novels I have waiting to be donated somewhere. I buy them at our library's monthly book sale and they do pile up!

I buy westerns for my husband and he's now found a place to recycle them - the man who watches over the landfill likes westerns and has a lot of time on his hands in that job.

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 3 years ago

Hi Marte, why am I not surprised that you have a pile of book? We donate books to the Friends of the San Francisco library at their resale shop at Ft. Mason. Often we walk to the farmer's market there on a Sunday morning, buy a book for a buck, donate back a prior book, and get our fruit and veges on the same trip.

What I like about these free mini libraries is the sense of community they generate, and that it can be easy for kids to pick up a book, thus fostering the habits of both reading and recycling!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

I've heard of these and think they're brilliant.  I'm wondering if having one outside the office would be a good idea.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) over 3 years ago

I sure wouldn't hurt, Bryan--get people used to walking by your office, lingering, and perhaps popping in!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

I would love to have one of those, but I live on a busy road! What an awesome idea!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 3 years ago

I'd never heard of these, but what a great idea. With the advent of the iPad and Kindle, I found myself going digital. But now I'm reading less. Too many distractions on that device. I'm going back to paper!

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 3 years ago

These are great for building a sense of community! Love it and I hope it continues to grow.

Posted by Come Home ATX, Realtors (Come Home ATX) over 3 years ago

I love this idea, I know that my neighborhood would love having one too!

Posted by Christi Hacker, Your Omaha Area Real Estate Specialist (Keller Williams Greater Omaha) over 3 years ago

I can see some communities really embracing this, but it does take a certain degree of walkability to really take root.  SF is a great city for something like it, though, and thanks for making note.  I will be on the lookout when I go on broker tour.

Posted by Rob Spinosa, Executive Loan Advisor, Marin Mortgage Pro (Supreme Lending, Marin County, CA) over 3 years ago

We need these everywhere! Never stop learning. :)

 

Love and light,

Laura

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 3 years ago

Lottie ~ very cool idea, I have never heard of the Little Free Library but love the idea. Will definitely keep my eye out for them.

Posted by Kevin Ray, Former REALTOR & current Estate Agent in the U.K over 3 years ago

Lottie, I haven't heard of a Little Free library. It's an excellent idea though.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 3 years ago

Hi Evelyn - share this post with one of your town friends; maybe your community will find one pop up for the enjoyment of all.

Karen, I still do most of my reading with paper books. I have a couple on my iPad for times when I travel, wait at doctor appointments, etc., but I like the touch and feel of paper.

Little Free Library is a capitivating idea, isn't it Mark?

Christi, maybe one will pop up in your neighborhood one day, to the delight and benefit of many.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

Rob, they are on the Peninsula, too, in Portola Valley and Menlo Park I know. San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood has at least two. If you spot others around in SF or Marin, let me know, OK?

Laura - I agree. Blessings to you.

Kevin, some day when you least expect it, you'll probably spot a Little Free Library and be charmed. I hope so, in any rate.

 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

Kevin, I hope you have the joy of spotting a Little Free Library; it will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face.

Michael, I'm glad you like this idea. It's a fun one.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

I will have to keep a look out next time I'm down that way. Maybe I will bring a few copies of the home inspection book I give to my clients. 

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) over 3 years ago

Great idea, Rob!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

I saw this in a few spots about a decade ago in Portland, Oregon, and as a book nerd it made me giggle with glee. Such a great little way to build community and promote literacy!

Posted by Laura Foreman, Copywriter, Buffini & Company (Referral Maker Real Estate CRM) over 3 years ago

Laura, let's hope this Little Free Library movement continues to grow. It's a delightful concept.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

I absolutely love this idea - how sweet! I haven't seen any around my towns, maybe it's time for me to start the trend!

Posted by Jill Saddler, Draper Utah Real Estate Professional - 25 years+! over 3 years ago

Lottie ~ we have some of these in my neighborhood, too!  What a pleasant surprise to come across them when walking my dog Maggie.  I think it's one of those ideas that help neighbors come together.

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 3 years ago

There are a few of these in our town as well. Very neat to see as you drive down the street in State College, PA. 

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) over 3 years ago

Jill, go for it! Think of how many new friends you'll make as you spread the happiness around.

Maureen, you're right -- a good way to enhance a community. Post a picture of one from Portland OR, OK?

Wonderful, Marc. Maybe you'll add a photo of some Little Free Libraries in State College, PA.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

I love the concept of "Little Free Library" and it's two fold mission. 

Posted by Judi K Barrett, BA, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Judi Barrett~Integrity Real Estate Services~Idabel, Oklahoma) over 3 years ago

I do, too, Judi. How about in Idabel--do you have an office in a downtown area? Or a friend who might start one? The ideas flow!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

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