Little Free Libraries is a registered charity that promotes reading and art whilst bringing the community together by increasing access to books for readers of all ages and abilities.
But what on earth does that have to do with the TARDIS I hear you cry?
Well, Little Free Libraries have come up with the brilliant and rather charming notion of installing free libraries across the UK. However, these libraries are not your average brick and glass buildings and as the name would suggest, yes they are indeed ‘little’. Ranging from beach huts and bird houses to hollowed out tree stumps and robots, these miniature model village-esque structures contain books that can be borrowed under the proviso that you leave a book in return.
The idea was the brainchild of Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, who in 2009 built a replica schoolhouse, filled it with books and attached it to a post in his front garden along with a sign that said ‘FREE BOOKS.’ Over time the library became so popular that Bol went on to build more and now there are thousands of Little Free Libraries across the world.
Anyone can build a Little Free Library, in fact you only have to Google it or search for it on Pinterest and there are literally thousands of ideas and inspiration to help get you started on a design. There are no rules as to what your library must look like, but it is recommended that you register it with littlefreelibrary.org in order for it to appear on their world map and records.
Last Sunday morning saw the arrival of the Little TARDIS Library to Brighton beach, where it is set to embark on a tour around the UK. As we all know, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside and the same can be said of the Little TARDIS Library, which is jam-packed full of hundreds of classic books just waiting to be shared with children and young adults. Some of the books hidden away in the TARDIS include:
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
- The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
- Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)
- The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
- Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson)
- Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)
- The Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling)
- The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)
- Black Beauty (Anna Sewel)
- Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
- The Adventures of the Wishing Chair (Enid Blyton)
- To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
- Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
- The Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum)
- The Snail and the Whale (Julia Donaldson)
Nick Cheshire, Director of the charity explains, “The TARDIS is an iconic and engaging piece of sci-fi art that will help engage children and young people to pick up a book and inspire a love of reading.” The Little TARDIS Library is currently time-warping it’s way through the schools and libraries of London, however future locations are announced on Twitter (@TARDIS_LFL) where you can also discover more about its time traveling adventures and see photos of some of the people that have experienced the shared joy of reading.
We’d love to hear from you, whether it’s your own experiences of the Little TARDIS Library or to hear your ideas for your own Little Free Library, so contact us or leave us a comment and we’ll make a page of all the best photos 🙂