Did you know that Tamarac has two Little Free Libraries? Commissioner Fishman worked on this joint effort between the City of Tamarac and the IAFF Local 3080 to build and install two of these libraries.
These libraries provide children with the opportunity to read a book while they’re at the park; they can also either take the book home or leave it for the next child. Little Free Libraries asks that if you take the book home, you either return it when you’re finished reading it, or replace the book with a different one.
Tamarac’s Little Free Libraries are located at the Sports Complex and at Caporella Park.
“Take a Book, Leave a Book”
The Little Free Library project was the brainchild of Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin. Back in 2009, in honor of his mother, a teacher who loved reading, he built a model of a one-room schoolhouse, filled it with books, and installed it on a post in his front yard. So many friends and neighbors loved it that he began building more and giving them away. Soon after, Rick Brooks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison learned of these, and he and Todd were inspired by Andrew Carnegie’s “Take a book, leave a book” idea. The wealthy philanthropist, once the richest man in the world, built a fortune and then gave it all away to the tune of $60 million, funding over 1500 public libraries throughout the United States.
Washington, D.C.’s oldest library, built in 1903, is one of Carnegie’s most impactful lasting gifts. From the beginning, it was open to men, women, and children of all races; some African-Americans remember when it was “the only place downtown where they could use the bathroom.”
The Little Free Library Project Grew and Grew
By the end of 2012, not even four years after Todd Bol built his first model, there were over 4,000 Little Free Libraries. Today, there are over 100,000 registered Libraries in over 100 countries around the world.
Sadly, Todd Bol passed away in October 2018 due to complications of pancreatic cancer. According to the Little Free Library, “He remained dedicated to Little Free Library’s mission in his last days, saying, ‘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.’”
Libraries: Cake Pans and More
Other Carnegie-funded libraries include the public library in Woodbine, Iowa, which lends more than just books and other media. According to the same 2013 NPR piece on Andrew Carnegie, Woodbine Library Director Rita Bantam explains why they lend cake pans, noting that “People don’t keep all sizes and shapes of cake pans at home, so they check ’em out and bake their cakes and bring ’em back….[It’s] offering a service that people need.”
To learn more about how you can support Little Free Libraries, visit https://littlefreelibrary.org.