The little libraries near you

While walking door to door this weekend, I was asked what I thought about the Library. I have to admit, my first thought wasn’t the politics of the Traverse Area District Library, but the Lil’ Lincoln Library in front of my house. This library is just one of what must now be a half-dozen (?) little libraries in the City.

These lil’ “take a book, share a book” libraries started popping up in 2012 with the TADL sponsored Kids Creek Little Free Library on Spruce St., hosted by Becky Mang and Homer Nye. Their library also happens to be one of the most aesthetic.


These are a great example of what makes Traverse City a great place. They provide us a way to interact with our neighbors that extends our homes into the public space. We get to share and we get to meet new people. That’s certainly part of being a strong town.

Global phenomena

Lil’ Lincoln Library

Finding TC’s lil’ libraries can be a bit tricky (I admit, my library wasn’t registered until this morning.) You can find a global registry of little free libraries (LFL) at They estimate that there are over 15,000 of them world-wide. Currently, only two in Traverse City are registered, Kids Creek LFL above and The Washington Street LFL near Prospect and Washington St.

Where are the others? As mentioned, one is on Lincoln St. The others I’ve seen or heard rumor of are on:

  • E. Orchard Dr.
  • Madison St.
  • Front St. (by State Theatre)
  • 9th St. (??)

What little free libraries am I missing? Have you used them? What was your experience? What do you think about a few City sponsored little libraries hosted in public spaces (Clinch Park, Lay Park, and the Governmental Center come to mind)? 

As for the politics involved with TADL–all in good time.

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