Is Aurora Colorado’s most interesting city? It’s certainly the state’s most diverse, and one that just went through a bruising election that left officials black and blue. But Aurora also has a booming arts scene, great ethnic dining and other unexpected amenities, including the Little Free Library ambassador program.
Since the first little library was set up ten years ago in Hudson, Wisconsin, it’s become a worldwide movement. Tod Bol built that first free library — basically a house-like box with books stashed inside — and placed it in his front yard, urging neighbors to “take a book, share a book,” all to honor his mother, a schoolteacher and lifelong reader. From there, the concept spread around the world, and by the time Bol passed away last year, there were more than 75,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges in 88 countries, from Brazil to Pakistan.
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There are even more little libraries that have been created by free agents, people who simply build a box, fill it with books and place it in front of their homes without ever registering with the organization Bol founded. (I happen to have one in front of my house.) But that would probably be fine with Bol. Today, Littlefreelibrary.org includes this quote from the organization's founder: “I really believe in a Little Free Library on every block and a book in every hand. I believe people can fix their neighborhoods, fix their communities, develop systems of sharing, learn from each other, and see that they have a better place on this planet to live.”
A place like Aurora, which is part of the Little Free Library program. Aurora Public Library started acquiring little libraries in 2014 and currently has about twelve around the city. “But we realized that if we wanted more people involved in this book-sharing culture, we also need community involvement from the get-go, taking ownership of the little libraries,” says Megan Ellis, outreach and programming coordinator for the APL.
So now the library is looking for people to adopt about thirty little libraries it has on hand. If you live in Aurora and would like to place it in an accessible spot in your yard (while following all neighborhood, HOA and city regulations), the APL will not only give you a library, it will provide mounting materials and a collection of books to get you started. Interested? Reach out to auroralibrary.org by December 27; since supplies are limited, do so sooner rather than later.