Take a book / return a book at Little Free Library

The initials L-F-L are not part of texting lingo. It stands for Little Free Library. It's similar to a regular library, but with some important differences.

"In a library they have access to the entire world," Emily Davenport said.

She's a fan of libraries. Emily Davenport is the media specialist at Carter High School.

"I just love when students come in and they just discover all of the wonderful books that are out there for them and they just become the most veracious readers. It's very exciting," she said.

She's very excited about a take-a-book / return-a-book idea called Little Free Library.

"The kids that have taken the time to ask about it or use it really enjoy it and they almost can't believe that we're just giving away books. They're used to having to bring things back," she said.

You can bring them back but you don't have to. The books inside are free. The library itself is little -- built by students in a construction class at the high school.

"I gave him the plans that are available for free on the internet and then a few weeks later it came through that door over there and we set it right up," she said.

Little Free Libraries have popped up across the country: inside, outside, and especially in front yards.

Todd Tarbett said, "Even when I was digging the post to put it there neighbors were coming up and asking what I was doing and then when I told them what I was doing they didn't believe me until it was actually there and there were books in it."

Todd Tarbett built his library for books on the corner of Magazine Road.

The Little Free Library in his front yard is like all the others in that it runs on the honor system.

"You're welcome to take a book and read it and bring it back or keep it forever and never bring it back or trade it out and put one of your own books in there and so we sort of stocked it in the beginning and it's been running on its own since then," he said.

What's available is always changing.

"Tennessee history books, there are cook books, fiction, novels, children's books, all kinds of things," he said.

Todd is pleased to be part of a network of independent Little Free Libraries across the country. The project started in Wisconsin.

"When we built this library we're assigned a number and I think it is 2,025 and now a year and a half later there are about 11,000 or so it's a really a pretty popular thing," he said.

It's proven to be popular with his South Knoxville neighbors.

"Two good ways to get to know your neighbors are to walk your dog around the neighborhood and build a library in your yard," he said.

This interactive map shows the locations of all the registered Little Free Libraries.


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