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Hamptons-Based Library Starts Its Own Little Free Library

Nicole Barylski

The Hampton Bays Public Library's Little Free Library. (Courtesy Photo)

Is your book collection getting out of hand, but your desire to sit back with a good read going nowhere? Pick out a few novels that you have no intention of re-reading anytime soon and bring them to the Hampton Bays Public Library where you can swap them for something you haven't already excitedly devoured as part of their new Little Free Library program.

"The Hampton Bays Public Library welcomes their very own Little Free Library to Hampton Bays," shared Susan LaVista, Library Director. "A Little Free Library is a free book exchange created to encourage the ongoing neighborliness and appreciation for literacy that exists within the community."

Little Free Library is the brainchild of Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, who in 2009 built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother who was a teacher that was passionate about reading. He packed the miniature schoolhouse with books, added a post and installed the miniature schoolhouse on his front yard. The idea grew popular with neighbors and friends, so Bol constructed a few more, added a free books sign, and donated them to interested community members.

When Bol met Rick Brooks of UW-Madison, the duo decided to take the Little Free Library system to the next level. Inspired by Andrew Carnegie's backing of 2,509 free public libraries, librarian Lutie Stearns, who journeyed to 1,400 locations in Wisconsin between 1895 and 1914 to bring them books via "traveling little libraries," "Take a book, leave a book" collections, neighborhood kiosks, TimeBanking and community gift-sharing networks, as well as grassroots empowerment movements in Sri Lanka, India and other global locales, Bol and Brooks set out to build at least 2,510 Little Free Libraries (as many as Carnegie), but really hoped the program would spread and reach many more than that.

Bol's idea caught on like wildfire and by November 2016, Little Free Library had expanded to 50,000 libraries, including the Hampton Bays Public Library.

So, how exactly does it work? Very easily - to participate all you have to do is bring one or more books - any genre is acceptable - to the Libary's Little Free Library and exchange them with the same (or less) number of books you brought. You can also donate books without taking one in return.

The Library is excited to bring this offering to the community. "Stop by to 'take a book and return a book!'" added LaVista. So cleanse your book collection and score a few new reads, because as they say, sharing is caring.

Hampton Bays Public Library is located at 52 Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays. For more information, call 631-728-6241 or visit hamptonbayslibrary.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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