Tag: Public Libraries

The Free Library in Your Front Yard

We all love libraries, but if you’ve ever had to wade twenty minutes through the snow just to get your reserves, you might wish to have one closer to home. And it’s possible! With Little Free Libraries. And fear not! Whether you live in the forest or in Brooklyn, you can make little free libraries part of your life, and you should. What’s better than adding community libraries to the public ones?


Image via Snoop Charlotte


If you’ve got the resources and the space, you can start a library of your own whenever you want to. There are tons of designs and colors on their website, and you can put one anywhere you have two square feet of land and about four vertical. I’ve seen them tucked into gardens, hanging over wrought iron fences, and on the side of the road. Just donate a few books (or thrift them up) and you’re running a library. But if you’re renting, or restless, don’t despair. There are little libraries near you.



Image via Book Riot


Okay, so your library probably won’t be in a defunct phone booth, but the little hutches on the website are cute as it gets, and there’s nothing like getting lost on a cold night and stumbling across a tiny library draped in ivy. But you don’t have to just wander Brooklyn hoping to stumble across something magical (though I do recommend it if you have the time)—because they have a map of all their locations.



Image via Pinterest


There are over 90,000 locations in 90 countries, according to their website, but they can be few and far between in some areas. That’s why it’s so important to start new ones anywhere and everywhere possible! But don’t lose hope. There are two in my neighborhood, so if you’re in any kind of city, you’ll probably have decent luck, and it’s always worth a check either way. There are also sometimes free libraries in parks, so you might be able to find or start one that way. Wherever you live and whatever you read, the Little Free Library is a wonderful resource for book sharing.



Featured image via City of Princeton 




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The Library Made of Books

Libraries are some of the best places on earth. The quiet, the smell of old books, the nap corners. Maybe that’s just me. But regardless of why you love them, libraries are great for everybody. I love any branch, but some libraries take it a step further (or like a hundred steps). Take the central branch of the Kansas City Library in Kansas City Missouri, which is, in fact, made of giant books.

Image via Flickr


Okay, so it’s not really made of books, they probably don’t open, but the library is open seven days a week. But the library’s beauty doesn’t stop there. Books are featured on the inside too, as they should be. I like a dark, labyrinthine space as much as anyone, but this library goes another direction entirely, as it does on the outside.

Image via Kansas City Public Library


Aesthetics on point, books on point, and a lot of services to help the local community. Obviously the decor is enough to lure in any book lover, but not only is this an excellent building and an excellent library, it also offers a long list of additional resources for visitors. Dozens of computers, wifi, video conferencing, study rooms, event spaces, and more.

Image via Architecture Magazine


When someone broke this news on Tumblr (this might be generous – the central part of the building is historic), someone actually in Kansas City did us all a solid and went by, taking photos and investigating services. You can read the entire saga here. If you’re in Kansas City, stop by. The rest of us are jealous.



Featured image via Reader’s Digest

Do You Know About The Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library?

Ever heard of the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library? It’s a marvelous sight to behold.


A book from the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library
Image Via Getty Images

Located in Delhi, India is the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library. It’s a “community library containing about 15,000 books in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and even Hindi” that serves as a light guiding those in need. Tucked away in old Delhi, the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library might physically be a tiny space, but its impact is huge.

In addition to housing a 700-year-old commentary on logic in Arabic, the Library also has old manuscript in Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Hindi, and English. A wealth of information, the BBC notes that the Library “plays host to poetry readings and lively discussions on art, culture and politics”.


Interior of the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library-1
Image Via thehindu.com

It’s a place where men and women are equal, where there are no rules regarding noise level. In fact, conversation is encourages. It’s place to discuss ideas.



Old Delhi
Image Via Times of India

Considering the surrounding area has “a pervading sense of stagnancy” that’s led by the “apathetic attitude of the administration,” the Shah Waliullah Library serves as a light guiding those in need towards it.

With regards to its history, Mohammed Naeem, President of the Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA) recalls how he and others “[wanted] to change the fate of our locality. We thought there was no better way to do this than by opening a library.”


Interior of the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library-2
Image Via Reddit

They did so in 1990, registering as the Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA). Immediately they go to work, started with newspapers and magazines from their homes before adding books from Sunday book markets.


A group of civil society leaders and social activists, at Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library,
Image Via Hindustan Times

From there, everything just grew and grew. In regards to the name, Hindustan Times writes that “Abdul Hadi, a local resident who was then a clerk with Jamia Millia Islamia University, suggested they name the library after the revered Islamic scholar Shah Waliullah”.

From there, The Shah Waliullah got many donations, many books coming “in backpacks, on bicycle carriers, in cycle rickshaws, tied up in cloth; new, jumbled, torn”.


Three people at the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library-1

And that’s how the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library came to be. Home to about 20,000 books, the store no,w according to Mohammed Naeem, “[provides] extra classes for children around here, supply books, give free counselling and even apply to colleges and often pay their fees”.

You can visit their Facebook here!



Featured Image Via Indian Times