I serve as a councilor on my local parish council, and a few months ago I applied for a Community Activities Grant from our district council, to fund a Little Free Library. Anyone who has ever applied for a grant will know that a lot of work is involved; providing evidence of a need for the grant, explaining the benefits of the project, supplying supportive documentation, showing that the proposed project meets the grant criteria, and so on. This was my first time to apply for any kind of grant, and I am happy to report that the application was successful! 

Grant aided by West Oxfordshire District Council

This means that we can now construct and install a Little Free Library in our rural Oxfordshire community. What is a Little Free Library? Check out the official Little Free Library website here. Alernatively, here’s a brief overview:

Little Free Library Story from Beargrass Media on Vimeo.

The Little Free Library movement began in Wisconsin, USA, in 2009, when Todd Bol built a model of a school house, put it in his front garden and filled it with books. He put a sign on it that said “Free Books”, and waited to see what would happen. His nighbours liked it, and he went on to build a few more and gave them away. In collaboration with Rick Brookes, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Little Free Library organisation was born. To date, there are approximately 25,000 Little Free Libraries around the world. The main mission of the organisation is to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide. Please visit the website for more information


For our Little Free Library, we have the following specific aims:

  • To promote literacy
  • To provide a free book sharing service
  • To foster a greater sense of community in the village

Our Little Free Library is currently being constructed by The Pathway Workshop in Oxford. If you would like to follow the progress of our Little Free Library, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Further updates will appear on this blog, too.

Questions? Comments? Have you ever used a Little Free Library?