Maybe you've seen them in Eastown or the Ottawa Hills neighborhood, or scattered throughout Northview, East Grand Rapids, and Baxter. With no late fees or membership cards, the only rule is if you take a book, leave a book. The official name is Little Free Library, and they're quickly spreading across Grand Rapids and the rest of the world.
Inspired by a love of reading and building connections within the community, Todd Bol started the nonprofit in 2009 in Hudson, Wisconsin. Anyone can register their box of books for a small fee, and the only real upkeep is maintaining a good stock of books. Neighbors and passersby can take a book, puzzle, whatever is supplied in the library, but they must replace it with something of their own. It's like a neighborhood water cooler, a place for people to casually stop and chat for a minute.
It might seem like a small thing, but it exposes readers to new titles, gets neighbors talking to each other, eliminates book deserts, and promotes the sharing economy. Millions of books are exchanged each year among the 36,000 Little Free Libraries throughout the U.S. and abroad. These little boxes of books are making a big impact on communities and literacy.
Check out this link for a map of all the Little Free Libraries in Grand Rapids.