Editorial: Share a love of reading in Albert Lea

Published 1:00 am Monday, June 5, 2017

Little Free Libraries are popping up all over town, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

A Little Free Library is a small book collection where anyone can borrow a book to read, with no time limits and no late fees. Little Free Libraries aim to promote literacy and a love of reading by building free book exchanges. A structure is put together to house the books, and people are welcome to exchange a book for one of the others inside the library.

Some structure look like houses, some are old newspaper racks and yet others are more creative — like the new one that looks like a giant camera outside Bragen Rights Photography on Marshall Street.

According to littlefreelibrary.org, the libraries’ intended purposes are “to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.”

According to the Little Free Library website, as of November 2016, there were over 50,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges in all 50 U.S. states and over  70 countries around the world. This is not taking into account the number of unregistered libraries that have also been planted, having been inspired by the movement.

Not only do the libraries promote literacy, but they create new chances for interactions, something that many have pointed out is a downside of the digital age.

The next time you’re out walking, jogging, biking or driving around and spot a Little Free Library, think about stopping. See for yourself what all the fuss is about.

The following are the sites of the libraries at Albert Lea residents and businesses:

• 806 Lincoln Ave.

• 2141 Kenneth Drive

• 302 Bridge Ave.

• 807 North Shore Ave.

• 606 Pilot St.

• 808 W. Front St.

• 805 Bridge Ave.

• 202 Ridge Road

• 717 Marshall St.

If there are any others out there, let us know. We’d like to keep a running list.