Years ago we purchased an old Chicago Tribune newspaper stand with the intention of transforming it into a robot themed Free Little Library. Life got in the way of those plans, but I’m happy to report that we are now revisiting the project.

Free Little Libraries may be fiercely contested in the library world, but I stand by them. I know that there are fears that they degrade the public’s perception of “real” libraries and therefore threaten our public libraries. However, my years of experience have led me to the conclusion that the only legitimate threat to our public libraries is funding, and any lawmaker or voter who dares to use Free Little Libraries as an excuse for unfunding our public libraries is being purposely reductive and deceitful.

Free Little Libraries may be only as real as my daughter’s library in her room, yet they serve similar purposes. They allow their owners to celebrate their joy of reading, strengthen their bonds with loved ones, and expand their communities.

If you see one, take a book, leave a book, or even better, use it as an excuse to meet your neighbors and get to know your community a bit better.