Our Blog

Sharing Stories

Secondary Stuff in a Little Book Box
by tony bol
Little Library Movement’s success is the free exchange of books. The love of reading is at the core of its magic, and rotation of books invites regular users. A library’s very presence inspires motivation for reading, like a monument made from the pages of friendly neighbors.
Along the way, many little library stewards have modified the sharing experience by adding complimentary items to attract more users and extend acts of kindness. The most prevalent of the secondary stuff is a dog biscuit container. Dog owners have a routine for their regular dog walks and frequently take the same path. Some little libraries offer dog items, such as water bowls, biscuits, doggie bags, or even a dog leash hook to free up an owner’s hands while browsing books. Items like these create dog walker stations, receive increased patronage, and make dogs wag their tails in Pavlovian response long before the approach of a woof-wonderful little library.

The secondary stuff often reflects the passions of the little library steward and can stretch the imagination or veer towards the practical. One woman who loves children reported that she places 4 to 5 tootsie-pops a week in her library to maintain a consistent flow of kids and their candy-happy curiosity. Some stewards have scissors dangling on a string to cut fresh herbs from a garden at the base of their library. Other neighborhoods share artistic bookmarks from one library to the next and even painted rocks designed with books or authors names. Gifts left in little libraries of origami peace cranes are known to represent kindness between neighbors in different parts of the country. Some stewards in cold climate states share knitted mittens in the winter months, stretching a string from their little library to a tree to display their offerings like waving flags to a cozy spirit. Neighbors share coupons, wet-one packets and many other neighborly essentials that cater to basic needs. It’s all the secondary stuff that gives a little library its own very special personality.

The Little Library Movement is made of curiosity that promises delight and surprise. The act of looking through a window and opening a door suggests the possibility of a small treasure. Whatever you decide upon in your little book box for secondary stuff, you will see an increase in its use. All little library patrons approach exchange boxes in a way that follows a path of unfolding discovery, and you’re curating an affinity group with a consistent level of interest. The secondary stuff you add beyond books will only widen the smiles.

Stay In Touch

We’d love to hear from you!
Please leave comments and encouragements for the Front Yard Sharing Movement.


233 Second St So
Stillwater, MN 55082