Driving by Mary Maxfield’s home, you’d think you’re passing a giant bird house. Technically it’s a home, but it’s filled with books. Last month she installed a library in her front lawn at 46th and Crestline.
If you think that’s unusual, Maxfield isn’t alone. She’s one of thousands of residents across the United States bringing literature to their neighborhoods.
Magazines, children’s books and nonfiction novels are available for your perusal by opening the glass door. Maxfield says she saw a neighbor girl read a Bernenstain Bears book, front to cover, while waiting for her mother.
“We love books so much. For the kids that come by during the summer time when they don’t have their school libraries, it’s good to know have something they can come get. The challenge for me is keeping new books in there,” Maxfield said.
It’s based on the honor system. You take a book and bring it back. If you like, you can trade out a book of your own with one already in there.
The concept comes from Little Free Library, an non-profit that supplies the kits and plans to build these libraries all over the world. They incorporate volunteer stewards to help keep the little libraries going with kits ranging in prices from $100-600.