ALAMEDA -- There is a quiet literacy drive going on in tiny libraries around the world and at two of those little libraries are in Alameda.
Kristy Gray has a Little Free Library stationed in front of her home. She said it is the first on her street, and there is at least one more in town.
The nonprofit Little Free Library program is a free book exchange with a mission to promote literacy and to help neighbors become acquainted with one another. The little library buildings, which are sold online (www.littlefreelibrary.org.) in a variety of styles, are drop off spots for book donations, which can be borrowed at no charge. The program is honor-system based; borrowed books are expected to be returned.
Gray said her parents introduced her to the organization.
"It's to build a sense of community as neighbors share certain books, skills, and wisdom across generations and cultures," she said.
Participants can donate and borrow fiction, non-fiction, children's picture books, and adult novels. Included are biographies, poetry, popular best sellers, and often unheard of favorites.
Gray said her family's library has a little bit of everything and that her children enjoy checking the inventory to see what is new.
"It's great to see thousands of these little libraries, scattered around the world, from California to Massachusetts, from India, and England to Ghana in Africa," Gray said. "It's fun for our kids to be part of something so great. They love checking our library to see if there are any new books."
To donate books contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Little Free Library, Ltd. began in 2009 as a program of the nonprofit, tax-exempt organization Wisconsin Partners for SustainAbility, which has incubated other nonprofit projects and organizations. The website has information about the countries that have Little Libraries, some that are set up in areas where there are no public library services.