Need a great way to inspire kids (and adults!) to read?  Check out the work of Rick Brooks and Todd Bol, who came up with a fantastic idea: build out of wood and Plexiglas “little free libraries” (24″ X 24″ X 30″) that contain a collection of about 20 books and a sign “Take a Book, Leave a Book.”

Todd originally built a small library to memorialize and honor his mother, a teacher.  He placed it in his yard, invited neighbors to check out books, and an idea took flight.  Suddenly, conversations about books were taking places in unlikely places–in the street, on the curb–and new connections and friendships were being formed. A sense of community blossomed.

In 2009 Todd and friend Rick decided to widen the circle.  They began making little libraries and installing them around their hometown of Madison, WI.  The idea caught fire and spread.  They already have endowed close to 100 libraries.  Todd and Rick say they are competing with Andrew Carnegie, who built and endowed 2,509 libraries during his lifetime.

For more information about the nonprofit Little Free Library, visit their website.  The money collected from the sale of their little free libraries (cost $350) goes to support the project and to develop libraries in underdeveloped communities.

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