West Seattle is definitely a well-read community. Including four public library branches (High Point, West Seattle, Southwest, and Delridge), there are actually 41 Libraries in West Seattle! If you’ve seen little (often wood) boxes standing on poles along a residential street somewhere containing books, they are referred to as “Little Free Libraries”: a worldwide movement which started in Hudson, Wisconsin. As of Fall 2016, 50,000 of these little book depositories/lending libraries have sprouted up across the globe.
So how does it work? Some kind individual or organization wanted to spread the joy of reading books and increase literacy. So they either bought a pre-made box from the Little Free Library organization that originated the idea, or built one themselves. Books range greatly in subject matter, but the goal is to provide a varied selection of literature for the community. You can take a book, trade, or donate your own books. There is no need to bring back the book you borrowed, but if you have a few to share to keep the book exchange stocked for other neighbors, that’s great.
West Seattle’s come in all shapes and sizes! If you’re interested in finding out where a free little library is near you, or go on your own fun tour to see many of them, here’s a map. Type in “Seattle and “WA” in the City/State search at the top of the window, then enlarge the West Seattle portion of the map to view our many choices.
If you’d like to get involved or start a new one, check out the Little Free Library’s FAQs page.