This is officially the most wondrous thing I’ve come across in a long time – Free Wee Library Project.
Not only is this the cutest little invention I’ve ever seen, but also the most innovative. The brainchild of Geraldine Timlin, who took her inspiration from similar schemes in the States, Free Wee Library is a book swap ‘hutch’ that operates on an honesty policy. Members of the public can borrow a book, as long as they replace it with another one. The result is a veritable hodgepodge of books – with everything from rare poetry books to children’s classics.
There are five of these little bird-house-like beauties scattered around the scenic environs of Buncrana, County Donegal and have proved a real success with natives and visitors alike. There are plans to develop the idea, and hopefully spread the concept throughout Ireland. It’s a volunteer effort to build the libraries, stock them and keep a watchful eye on them, while members of the public donate books on a regular basis so the books on the shelf are always changing.
I absolutely love this small yet mighty idea, not only because it encourages reading and literacy, but it’s getting books out into the community. Having these little libraries by the sea or on a country walk is the perfect excuse to sit down on a bench and pick up a book. In this modern age, we have lost the time or inclination to just sit and be quiet in a beautiful place, take the time to browse and read a few pages. What a wonderful surprise to come across such a hidden gem, holding untold treasures and just waiting to be read.
I sincerely hope this fantastic scheme will be rolled out nationwide, providing communities with something really special to share and protect. Libraries are one of our most important resources and to see this kind of innovation, moving the libraries out into the countryside, ensures that the power of a good book will have its place in our communities and our hearts. Not to mention the fact that they look adorable! Well done to all involved at the Free Wee Library Project, hope to see you in Galway soon 😉