Trouble in the Land of Little Free Libraries

                     Todd Bol, the founder of Little Free Library, died in 2018. (Jim Mone/AP)

The Washington Post is reporting on a feud in the Little Free Library world between the founder’s younger brother Tony and the Little Free Library nonprofit that Todd Bol co-founded.

In early 2019, Tony Bol started Share With Others, a for-profit company that sells wooden boxes with a storage area for books.

In June of 2019 Little Free Library filed for a new trademark for use of the words “Little Free Library” in connection with “wooden boxes with a storage area for books.” The trademark was issued in response to like book boxes being sold by Share With Others and other companies on platforms like Etsy and Amazon.

 Juanita Metzger, in front the Little Library in her neighbour’s front yard Kitchner, Ontario

At issue are the words “little library” used to describe those wooden boxes that grace (mostly middle and upper class) neighborhoods across the country.

Tony Bol calls the trademark request “akin to some organization wanting to own all bird houses by applying to have trademark control over ‘wooden boxes with a nesting area for birds.’ 

                                   Little Free Cookbook Library outside PCC Market – West Seattle

There are more than 90,000 registered Little Free Library book-sharing boxes in 91 countries and countless unregistered examples.

“Spinning Stories” by Johnston Architects winner of Seattle Design Festival award

Previously on Book Patrol:

A Little Free Library loving third-grader on the power of books

Little Free Library Love at the Seattle Design Festival

The Evolution of the Little Free Library

The coolest little free library yet?

Library de Kimpel

Belgium’s Library de Kimpel is the latest library featured at arch daily. Designed by Adem Architecten  the new library was part of a master plan that included turning the existing library into offices and an exhibition center and the construction of a new youth center. The project was completed in 2015.

The interior of the library is designed and organized around 5 subject areas: Music, Literature and Poetry, Lifestyle and Sport, Art and Architecture and Travel.

More photos here

All photos © Adem Architecten

The Public Collection: A new public art and literacy project

Public Collection

This August eight unique artist created libraries will grace the streets of Indianapolis. Under the moniker of The Public Collection these amazing micro libraries will be spread over the city and offer free books courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library.

The Public Collection is a blend of art and literacy.  The goal is to “increase access to books through the use of functional pieces of art in familiar settings. The initiatives are to improve literacy, foster a deeper appreciation of the arts, and raise awareness for educational justice in the community.”

Tom Torluemke, model for “Cool Books, Food for Thought” (2015)

The Public Collection was developed by artist Rachel M. Simon, with support from the Herbert Simon Family Foundation. As Simon tells Hyperallergic “Libraries are sacred institutions, and the value of physical books is timeless…The need and desire for physical books and libraries will always exist” and with The Public Collection Simon offers us a powerful one-two punch with a slate of appealing venues and greater access to books.

Katie Hudnall, model for “Untitled” (2015)

Kimberly McNeelan, model for “Evolution of Reading” (2015)

Brose-Partington_City-Market_ThePublicCollection-e1437081108728Brose Partington, model for “Untitled” (2015)

Borrowing Books from Sculptural Micro-Libraries | Hyperallergic

The Public Collection website