Amid Covid-19, little free libraries have been popping up in neighborhoods nationwide. These allow access to books without leaving your neighboring streets!

Little Free libraries allow all to access books.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Little Free libraries allow all to access books.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The Little Free Library began in 2009 with a single library in Hudson, Wisconsin. In 2010, the first “official” one was built. Now, there are over 100,000 registered in over 100 countries! Imagine how many neighborhoods have been changed! Here is the story of one man who created his own.

Covid-19 and Books

Michael Bancale, a citizen of Hewitt, TX, had given thought to building a Little Free Library before. But, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and a neighbor needed to give away some books, he jumped on it. After researching little free library plans, he set out to build his own in the neighborhood of Stoneridge.

Some believe little free libraries must be stationary, but that is far from the truth. Bancale’s library is built from leftover material and a 5 gallon bucket filled with cement, making it portable!

The Reward of Little Free Libraries

Michael's Little Free Library, Hewitt, TX.
Photo by Michael Bancele
Michael’s Little Free Library, Hewitt, TX.
Photo by Michael Bancale

With some unable to drive, especially during COVID-19 lockdowns, this provides a stop on a daily walk. In larger cities, being able to get to a large, central library is a challenge for some. A neighborhood library increases access to reading.

For Bancale, watching someone get excited about reading is the best part of owning a library.

“The neat thing is seeing these kids find an old book from the 70s or 80s and get excited, because it is something they have never seen.”

Michael Bancale, on the most rewarding part of a Little Free Library

Donate to Your Neighborhood Libraries

A little library will grow when people donate.
Photo by Michael Bancele
A little library will grow when people donate.
Photo by Michael Bancale

Books do not have to be new for kids and adults to enjoy them. They can be old and worn. They don’t have to be in perfect shape. Any book you no longer want is perfect. Bring one in and take a new book in its place.

Instead of putting them in a Goodwill stash, consider donating them to a neighborhood library.

Even if you have zero books to give away, spread the word. Tell your neighbors and friends when there’s one nearby.


In Bancale’s area, there are even more libraries-one on Angel Fire, one on Hillside, and one on Ivy Lane. So, look around. Who knows, you may come across one in your neighborhood! And, if the inspiration strikes for you to build your own, enjoy the process!