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Little Libraries May Be Coming to Marion, Iowa City

A literacy project called the Little Free Library could be coming to an Iowa town near year.

Finding a good book in Iowa could get a little easier.

Miniature school houses about the size of a mailbox and filled with books are popping up in towns around the world, and soon could be coming to Iowa City and Marion.

Started in 2010 in Wisconsin, the literacy project called the Little Free Library is a free book exchange that many communities around the world are embracing. It's founders are Todd Bol and Rick Brooks, who first met in 2009.

The Little Free Libraries are filled with 20 or 30 books with the idea that you take one and leave one. The goal is to top Andrew Carnegie's record of 2,510 libraries around the world.

According to the group's website, the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature team expects to bring the Little Free Library project to Iowa City with at least three locations by the end of January.

In 2008, Iowa City was the third city in the world to be named a UNESCO City of Literature, a designation the community proudly supports. Iowa City joined Edinburgh, Scotland, and Melbourne, Australia, and since then Dublin, Ireland, and Reykjavik, Iceland have been added.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the Longfellow Neighborhood Association in Iowa City is independently considering the project, and literacy advocates in Marion are also fast at work to get the project started.

The project is open to the public at large. Click here to learn about starting a Little Free Library on your own.

What do you think? Would you use Free Little Library or would prefer going to the or the ?

Jo Pearson January 31, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I'd LOVE to have the Marion Library involved in the project! Would like to talk to the "literacy advocates in Marion" who are working on it! Contact the library, ask for Jo! Email me at jpearson@cityofmarion.org or call 319-743-1985.
Doug Raber February 01, 2012 at 03:50 PM
The Little Free Libraries project has a strong link to the beginnings of public libraries. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, people came together to form subscription libraries. Each subscriber contributed a small amount of money on a regular basis to buy books. The collection was typically kept at a member's house or place of business and shared by all subscribers. The Little Free Library is a updated version. It's based on donations rather than subscriptions but it's still an expression of sharing a valuable resource.This notion of a community sharing knowledge is still the foundation of public libraries. As director of the Marion Public Library, I echo Jo's request. If anyone in Marion is working on this project here, get in touch with her at the library and let us know how we can help!
Scott Raynor February 01, 2012 at 07:15 PM
For those of you that don't know, Doug Raber, the director of our public library, has a PHD. HIs wealth of information on libraries, books and stories is incredible. Thanks for the input!
Jo Pearson February 02, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Hey, I've got a Masters Degree! And I have a wealth of information, too! Or, at least I know where to get one. :)
Scott Raynor February 02, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Sorry for leaving you out, Jo. You do indeed have a wealth of information as well.

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