Across the SouthCoast, little lending libraries have popped up in neighborhoods far and wide. These tiny book sheds have been referred to as "little lending libraries," "outdoor libraries," and "little free libraries" after the massive movement to create a worldwide free book-sharing program.

If you've seen these bright wooden boxes in your travels, you may want to pull the car over next time you see one. Not only do these great little libraries contain books for all ages, but the little libraries themselves often have their own story to tell. Folks who have registered their libraries with the Little Free Library movement have logged their library's location on the Little Free Library map and included a story of how and why their library came to be.

What we noticed about the SouthCoast is that teachers and librarians, whether still actively in those roles are not, cannot help share their continued love of reading with their neighbors. One of the most touching tributes comes right out of Mattapoisett Center's North Street, whose little library honors the town's former librarian.

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"This little library is made out of a cranberry box which is perfect for this area.... cranberry bogs everywhere. The library is dedicated to my sister who was the Mattapoisett Town Librarian and a lover of books and music. The library is located outside the home she grew up in and created in loving memory by her little sister," the site reads.

A few stories even mention how the libraries' stewards were gifted the little buildings after wanting one for so many years. Some were anniversary gifts, others were birthday gifts and Christmas gifts, all of them cherished.

"I asked my grandfather if we could make a library together for me to put outside my house for people to take a book and/or leave a book. He surprised me at Christmas time with it. We both cried! It is so special to me and I love it! It is complete with dog treats and lights so stop by anytime!" wrote Elyse's Little Free Library of Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Next time you clean off your bookshelves or tidy up your kids' rooms, grab a few books you no longer want and keep them in your car. When you drive by one of the many little free libraries in our area, you can leave a book, get a book, and be a part of the magic that is SouthCoast's free book exchange.

Looking for some inspiration before building your own? Check out some other little free libraries from around the world here.

The SouthCoast's Little Free Libraries

Across the SouthCoast, stewards of Little Free Libraries are sharing their love of reading with their neighbors and keep these great little resources stocked with books for everyone to enjoy.