The Little Free Library organization strongly recommends that you hold some sort of Open House or “launch party” to let your neighbor and community knows that you have a Little Free Library and what the philosophy “Take a book, Return a book” means. It means take, for free, any book you find in the Library, and if you can, return a different book so the inventory in the Library is always changing.
Those first days got me to understand why a “launch event” is valuable. People can come over, meet other neighbors, have some snacks, swap some books, and learn all about what the Little Free Library movement is about.
As part of your kit when you register your Library with the Little Free Library Organization, you get a one-page document giving you some ideas how to launch your library. It suggested making a little flier and passing it out to all your neighbors. The Little Free Library’s website gave many more ideas, ranging from passing out the simple flier to full blown media events with TV reporters and newspaper writers.
My wife and I opted to go the easiest route by creating door hangers and taking a few hours to walk through the neighbor. We figured if that didn’t work then we could try some of the more elaborate suggestions.
We had a modest turnout: about a dozen neighbor households, almost all with young children in tow. We hadn’t met any of these families before so it was really cool getting to meet them all.
Everybody brought books and everybody went away with books. A lot of classic children’s books were donated: The Narnia Chronicles, Winnie the Pooh, Nancy Drew, and so on. But also some pretty good books for grownups, such as the Steve Job’s biography and lots of novels.
Our Little Free Library gets regular traffic now, mostly from the kids. I’m guessing that might be because their books are much shorter. We’ll see as time goes on.
Installing a Little Free Library has been a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend installing one in your neighborhood if you’re feeling a pull to do so.