The Little Free Library community suffered a huge loss on October 18, 2018 when founder Todd Bol passed away from pancreatic cancer. The stewards group that I am a part of on Facebook had been the place where I had found out the news just days earlier that he was under hospice care. Since his death there have been so many posts and articles worldwide sharing Todd Bol’s contribution to the world .
It all started with one Little Free Library that was made using recycled materials by Todd in honor of his mom of and her love of teaching. A little red schoolhouse that held a lot of her own books for his neighbors to share started this somewhat amazing, and yes, extraordinary journey of free lending libraries. There are upwards of 80,000 registered ones active now in every state and in many countries. I love to see posts on Facebook with pictures of new stewards who are sharing the Grand Openings of their unique libraries in other countries. A recent one from Sudan just made me smile. Imagine. One man who put up one little library in St. Paul, Minnesota started this. One man.
I jumped on the Little Free Library bandwagon last year and had one of my good friends here in Connestee Falls make one that represented the mountain area where we reside. After realizing that our own yard was not accessible to many people I found the owners of our local Whistlestop Market were more than willing to let my library be a part of their efforts to reach out into our little mountain community. My library is conveniently located at the side of their market where it is accessible to everyone who travels down Highway 276. It even has a motion detecting light in it for nighttime browsing.
One of the things that stewards all around the world have done to remember Todd Bol is to place a white or silver ribbon on their libraries to commemorate all that he started with his movement.
It amazes me the impact of one man. Millions of books have come and gone throughout the world through Little Free Libraries. Some even offer dog treats, seeds, pantry items and more. The concept of sharing with others grows above and beyond what Todd Bol had initially imagined. I am so humbled to be a part of this great group of like minded people.
One little idea. One man who made a difference in so many lives and whose love of reading and books impacted more lives than he could ever know has left our lives but his legacy lives on. Thank you, Todd.
Before his death, Todd asked that those who love Little Free Library help move his dream forward by supporting our mission. Your donation to the Todd H. Bol Vision Fund will help us continue spreading the joy of Little Free Library book-sharing boxes around the world.
“I really believe in a Little Free Library on every block and a book in every hand. I believe people can fix their neighborhoods, fix their communities, develop systems of sharing, learn from each other, and see that they have a better place on this planet to live.” – Todd H. Bol, October 16, 2018
Links to other articles about Todd Bol and his Little Free Library movement can be found below:
Todd Bol, Creator of Little Free Library Movement, Dies at 62 (The New York Times)
Todd Bol, whose Little Free Library brought books to the street corner, dies at 62 (The Washington Post)
Remembering With Gratitude Todd Bol, Founder Of The Little Free Library (Minnesota Prairie Roots)