Little Free Libraries and big library thinking

Little Free Library group

San Antonio Public Library Director Ramiro Salazar (left) was on hand with staff of SAPL and the Texas State Library at the San Antonio LFL build.

The Texas Center for the Book, a project of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, is pleased to be partnering with Little Free Libraries to launch LFL events across the state. In partnership with LFL and steered by Center for the Book Coordinator Rebekah Manley, TSLAC has planned and participated in LFL build events at the Houston Public Library on March 2, at the San Antonio Public Library on March 7, and at the Austin Public Library today, March 10. A fourth event is planned for Tuesday, March 15, at the Plano Public Library.

Little Free Libraries is a national movement started by Todd Bol have placed over 30,000 of the tiny little house-like structures in neighborhoods across the United States and urged passers-by to “take a book and leave a book.” LFL has secured funding to place 1,000 tiny libraries across Texas (currently there are only about 600 known LFLs in Texas).

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Kids and adults build Little Free Libraries in the children’s room at the Austin Public Library.

Why does TSLAC want to participate this venture? After all, LFLs are about giving books away, not lending them, they are small, they are not public agencies, they are inherently limited. These things are true, but Little Free Libraries exist to promote literacy, a love of reading, a sense of community, an economy of sharing, a grounds for partnership, a common experience. These are all the things that libraries represent as well.

In addition to the very positive publicity that has accrued to public libraries in the communities where the builds have happened and where LFL will be placing the new tiny libraries, the partnership gives us an excellent platform to speak about these things that are so important to the philosophical basis of all libraries.

And plus, they are just fun. The kids, teens, and adults of all walks of life that have come to the builds have had a great time building these tiny structures that have no other purpose than to dispense books to readers.

Having fun, reading, and rading books–how can that not be a great thing? We hope you find a LFL somewhere in your community very soon.

Read more about Little Free Libraries at http://littlefreelibrary.org/.

Strategic planning tour of Texas

A hearty thank you to the folks that participated in the “Update and Strategic Planning” webinar that Katherine Adelberg and I presented today. We very much appreciate the feedback and comments from the public to help us determine strategic direction for the agency over the next biennium and beyond.

In that call, I mentioned that I would be out and around the state visiting with library groups about the strategic plan and if you are in the area, please join us. I was then asked, of course, where the list of forums and meetings was posted. I realized that it was not posted.

Here is that list of upcoming presentations. Again, I urge you to attend and continue the discussion of strategic planning for libraries:

Wednesday, March 2, 10 a.m.
Small Country Libraries
Kimble County Library
208 North 10th Street
Junction, Texas 76849

Tuesday, March 8, 5:30 p.m.
Marathon Public Library Board
106 NE 3rd Street
Marathon, TX 79842

Tuesday, March 22, 10 a.m.
Harrington Library Consortium
Amarillo Public Library
413 E. 4th Street
Amarillo, TX 79101

Thursday, March 24, 10 a.m.
PALS meeting
TLL Temple Memorial Library
300 Park Street
Diboll, TX 75941

Tuesday, March 29:

10 a.m. Texas Medical Center Library
1133 John Freeman Blvd.
Houston, TX 77030

2 p.m. Houston Public Library
500 McKinney
Houston, TX 77002

Thursday, April 7, 10 a.m.
League City Helen Hall Library
City of League City
100 W. Walker St.
League City, TX 77573

I also announced today that we have posted a survey online to collect input on priorities in five broad category areas. I hope you will take a moment to respond to the survey at: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/strategicplanldn — Your participation will be very valuable to us in designing programs and services that align with your library needs.

Thank you!