Little Free Library: Our Take on it

There’s a major trend taking off in American small towns and other communities – it’s something you might notice as you drive along or walk along the street. You’ll see a small wooden construction on a post that looks kind of like a mailbox, except that there’s a little glass door on the front with a row of books inside.

The little free library is a very rare example of Americans swinging back toward an earlier mindset of sharing and commonality.

It seems really at odds with the way that we live today, but it’s a refreshing sign that people still want to have shared assets and shared space.

You’ll see these little free libraries popping up everywhere. Notwithstanding some forms of local government regulation, they are becoming a familiar sight on the American street. Some are creating them by re-purposing old newspaper vending machines – others who are more carpentry-minded are building their own sometimes impressive crafted versions.

The little free library is also a mute commentary on how we live.

The old saying was “a chicken in every pot” – which insinuated that each family could afford to feed itself. With today’s absolutely saturated food system, it’s cheaper to eat unhealthy processed food and pack on the calories, so the old slogan doesn’t really apply. We pay more to lose weight than to get sufficient caloric intake.

Now, we have a lawnmower in every garage. We have a snow-blower in every shed. We have big industrial sized equipment that’s being used to handle tiny little lots of an acre or less.

That’s just one example of what you could call “waste through isolation” – the idea that instead of knowing your neighbors and sharing things, you instead pile up all of these things on your own, and maintain them, at pretty significant cost, on your own property.

For all of those reactionaries who would say that criticism of this model sounds like communism or Marxism – it’s not. It’s just common sense. Ask the depression-era citizen if he or she would prefer to buy an expensive machine or share it with neighbors – guess what you’d hear.

However, with the Great Depression being about 100 years in the past, we’re living in a very different time. Waste through isolation is now a common principle – you have million-dollar churches that could house the homeless sitting empty except for several hours a week. You have corporations destroying perfectly good food and other items instead of giving it away to the poor and disenfranchised. You have ride-sharing services desperately trying to get people to combine trips for the health of the planet.

At GTKYF , we don’t believe in practicing waste through isolation. We believe in making use of things. That’s why our little free library program isn’t just for books. For example, we operate a library of tools, where individuals can sign out useful implements, use them and return them in good condition, so that the next person can also get value.

You don’t have to do a whole lot of math to see how much this saves American families. When we share, we take away some of those tremendous costs of shopping through the corporate commercial system and being dependent on big companies to sell us everything that we use to sustain us throughout our lives.

Why do we support little free libraries? It’s all part of promoting independence and success for our farms, food, families and freedoms. We want to empower the average citizen to live a better quality of life, to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and to think of themselves as deserving of all of that this world has to offer.

Part of that involves setting people up for success with shared skill sets, shared resources and shared assets. You don’t get to the kinds of results that we want by isolating people – that’s why it’s called Neighbors Helping Neighbors. And that’s why we’re out there on the forefront of the effort to spread fiscal solvency and commercial benefits as widely as possible.

Another big part of the GTKYF Foundation Inc little free library is a seed library.

Why seeds?

Because corporations bent on the extremities of human greed have made their way toward patenting what we can find on its own in nature. (If you want a good grim laugh, read this explanation right from the horse’s mouth about “why patent seeds?”)

That act in itself is unnatural and abhorrent. We want to work the other way – to expand access to seeds and natural products, to get more people farming instead of concentrating food production in fewer hands. There’s a reason that people make their way out to Monsanto’s headquarters to demonstrate again this corporate behemoth – because it’s not a passive partner in the destruction of the natural world – it’s an active one! It’s also an active agent in promoting waste through isolation.

Check out our little free libraries and use what you need – become part of a movement toward a better tomorrow.