From the Boston Globe:
The emergence of the “Little Free Library” demonstrates not just the agility of individuals, but the stiff-jointed hoariness of government. Even as public libraries and their advocates bemoan their increasing irrelevance in a digital culture, they seem impotent to stop it. Succumbing to the perceived need to offer e-books, many offer online borrowing, contributing to their own demise by becoming the worst kind of middleman: one dependent on taxpayer dollars.
In doing so, they abandon their foundation, and perhaps eventual savior — the physical book.
Not so the Little Free Library, a grass-roots initiative that is creating micro-libraries all over the country, offering books and only books. In places as diverse as Cambridge, Fall River, Lynnfield, and Framingham, individuals are erecting what look like oversized birdhouses for the purpose of sharing paperback and hardcover books. Passers-by are invited to borrow them on the honor system. They’re mini-libraries with no cards, no fines, no invasive record of one’s reading history — just books, glorious books.
From the Little Free Library website:
Our conservative estimate of Little Free Libraries in the world is between 5,000 and 6,000 in 36 countries. We estimate than at least 1,650,000 books were donated and borrowed between January, 2010 and today. For every book donated or taken to read, we believe that five to ten people stopped and perused the selection. That translates to between 8,250,000 and 16,500,000 visits.