Little Free Library is “the world’s largest book-sharing movement” across the world. The nonprofit, founded in 2009, allows communities to have volunteer-led libraries. The book-sharing boxes allow neighbors to exchange and have access to books 24/7. According to Todd Bol, the founder of Little Free Library, the purpose is to inspire a love of reading, build community, and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.
New Orleans has welcomed these Little Free Libraries around the community. In fact, several of the book-sharing boxes around New Orleans have their own unique look. Destany Gorham and George Johnson, who live in the Carrollton neighborhood, are the instigators behind these unique structures. The couple decided to create little free libraries that match the homes where the book-sharing boxes are located.
It all started when a homeowner who lives on Audubon Street asked the couple to build a Little Free Library in front of their home. “Destany and I really like working on projects together, so we talked to them and decided to build a replica of their house,” Johnson explained.
Once completed the owners of the Audubon Street little library posted an image on Nextdoor of the miniature duplicate of their home. It began to get a lot of attention and others in the community wanted, Gorham and Johnson who work in Tulane University’s music department, to build a replica of their house as a little free library in front of their homes.
“We’re doing it for fun and covering a little bit of our costs and labor, but really it’s more of a hobby than a business,” Johnson said.
The couple, who have lived in New Orleans for 10 years, says the most rewarding part of this project has been to connect with the community.
“The community aspect of it is just incredibly important,” Gorham said. “We really love our neighborhood and we really love the city of New Orleans. We made a very active choice to stay here. And very often when people move to a new city, they try to make it where they were from. And all I want to do is just uplift the community that’s here. That’s why we do this.”