What happens when a librarian has a 110-year-old tree stump in front of her house? She turns it into a library! Sharalee Armitage Howard works at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library in Idaho, so when an aging cottonwood tree began to rot and had to be cut down for safety reasons, she knew just how to transform it into something special. Now, she has her very own Little Free Library where people can take a book and leave a book at their leisure.
Little Free Library is a nonprofit that fosters a love of reading and community by encouraging book exchanges. There are more than 75,000 registered Little Free Libraries in 88 countries around the world, each with their own unique character. When Armitage Howard shared her project on Facebook, it got an overwhelming response from people thrilled by her creative use of the space.
No detail was spared in the creation of this “Little Tree Library,” which includes stone steps, a glass door, and warm interior and exterior lighting that provides a welcoming glow. Even in the small details, the project maintains its literary purpose. Just above the doorway, dentils in the form of miniature books recall some of the great classics like Call of the Wild and The Grapes of Wrath.
Even if you can’t make it to Coeur d’Alene, chances are you have a Little Free Library nearby. The nonprofit’s Instagram shows off some of the unique libraries that exist around the world and, via their map, it’s possible to see the library closest to your location. Want to start your own Little Free Library? The organization has plenty of tips on how to build your own and it even sells pre-fabricated kits.
When a librarian in Idaho had to remove a dying 110-year-old tree from her property, she instead transformed the stump into a Little Free Library.
There are quaint literary details above the doorway so the community knows just what they’re looking at.
Get a closer look at “Little Tree Library” in this video created by local news station KREM.