If this doesn’t scream small-town charm, I don’t know what does! It’s the LITTLE FREE LIBRARY, an adorable curbside wooden cubby that offers free books to passers-by, and receives donated books as well. There’s a new one right in our beloved hamlet of Cranford, and you simply must visit it.
Arline McCloskey has been the library media specialist at Brookside and Bloomingdale Schools in Cranford for the past 16 years, so books are in her blood! When we asked how she came upon the idea to start her own Little Free Library, she said, “I saw one set up in front of a house on Bloomingdale Avenue, and I just knew I should have one. My children gave it to me for Christmas, and I just finished staining it this summer.” You can visit her Little Free Library at 40 Manor Ave in Cranford, it will be up and running after Labor Day!
The Little Free Library as a global initiative was launched in July of 2009. It’s slogan is: take a book; return a book. Such a simple idea, but it has caught on like wildfire, and there are currently more than 30,000 Little Free Libraries around the world!
You can also visit the Little Free Library at 30 Bloomingdale Ave by cruising down the avenue and looking for the charming home with the fabulous purple door!
According to the founders, the libraries are as much about community connection as they are about fostering literacy. Anyone who starts their own Little Free Library is affectionately known as a Steward and is sure to make many new acquaintances during the lifetime of his or her library. And isn’t it heartwarming to think of all the people who will enjoy a good read and will then pay it forward by sharing a book they loved?
For a map of Little Free Libraries or information on how you can start your own, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org