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Located in Foran Hall, the SEBS Little Free Library offers book swaps as part of the Little Free Library project.

After a hiatus, while online as Virtual SEBS Little Free Library, the Little Free Library in Foran Hall is open to the public again. (To tell the truth, it never shut down, thanks to anonymous volunteers with building access.)

Little Free Library logo

A network of free and easily accessible book exchanges, the initiative was established in 2009 in Wisconsin, with the mission of promoting literacy and the love of reading, and building a sense of community. A world map of Little Free Libraries shows the locations pinned on a Google map.

Questions? –  Contact us or ask the staff in the Chang Science Library.

A little history of Little Free Libraries

In 2009, as a tribute to his schoolteacher mother, Todd Bol built a model of a one-room schoolhouse, filled it with books, and set it up on a post in front of her house with a sign FREE BOOKS on it. After building and giving away several more, he teamed up with Rick Brooks of the University of Wisconsin to initiate a social enterprise to promote reading.

The original missions of Little Free Libraries are (1) to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and (2) to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.

Ideas that inspired the project
  • Andrew Carnegie’s support of 2,509 free public libraries around the turn of the 19th to 20th century;
  • The heroic achievements of Miss Lutie Stearns, a librarian who brought books to nearly 1400 locations in Wisconsin through “traveling little libraries” between 1895 and 1914;
  • “Take a book, leave a book” collections in coffee shops and public spaces;
  • Neighborhood kiosks, TimeBanking and community gift-sharing networks;
  • Grassroots empowerment movements in Sri Lanka, India and other countries worldwide.

   A predecessor at Rutgers


     Most Little Free Libraries are owned by public libraries or individual book lovers. This is our second Little Free Library at Rutgers, after the one we had set up in 2014 at the Center of Alcohol Studies. With a design based on Leon Greenberg’s Alcometer, the predecessor of the modern breathalyzer, developed at the Center, the library specialized on titles related to addiction.

Questions? –  Contact us or ask the staff in the Chang Science Library.