A Little Bit of Magic: Discovering Local Little Free Libraries Just in Time for Summer Reading

A Little Bit of Magic: Discovering Local Little Free Libraries Just in Time for Summer Reading

Anyone who has been immersed in a good book knows the special magic of a story. In neighborhoods all around Clark County, Little Free Libraries are sparking imaginations and bringing enchantment to readers young and old, right in their own neighborhoods.

Simple Beginnings

In 2009, Todd Bol, a Wisconsin resident, built a model of a one-room schoolhouse and filled it with books. He fastened it to the top of a post and placed it in his front yard. People loved it so much that he started making more to give out to friends. After some discussion with one particular friend, they decided to set a goal of having 2,508 Little Free Libraries in four years. That initial goal was exceeded in just a year and a half, and in 2012, Little Free Library officially became a registered non-profit organization. Today, there are a more than 100,000 registered “little” libraries in more than 100 countries. 

Little Free Libraries around Town

If you are in the mood to go explore with your kids, check out the library map at Simply type in your zip code and see how many registered libraries pop up in your area. Then, grab a few books of your own that you are willing to share, hit the road and see what kind of books you can find. Chances are, you will discover a handful of other libraries that aren’t registered with the organization, too.

Downtown Vancouver (especially the Hough neighborhood) is home to several different mini libraries that are regularly stocked. Next to Simply Sweets on Washington Street, there is a large red and white mini library full of all sorts of genres. A couple minutes away on the corner of 23rd and Harney Street, another library always has kids’ books, fiction and non-fiction books on hand.

Heading up toward Hazel Dell, one registered library sits at Lakeshore Athletic Club, and another one can be found on the campus of the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Washington, next to Hazel Dell Elementary School. In Camas, you can find one on the perimeter of Crown Park. These locations are just a starting point. There are many more to discover in neighborhoods around Clark County.

Encouraging Literacy

With summer in sight, keeping kids reading during their time off school is important. It not only keeps their brains learning, it keeps their imaginations alive. In addition to seeking out some new treasures at Little Libraries around town, think about enrolling your kids in summer reading programs.

Read the rest of this article in the full digital issue below.


A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Brooke Strickland is a full time freelance writer who recently co-authored her first book, “Hooked on Games.” When taking a break from writing, she can be found in a cozy chair with a book, or on the Oregon coast with her two daughters, husband, and two dogs.

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