Little lending libraries are popping up around Hoover—here’s why

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A Little Free Library in Birmingham. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

The City of Hoover will soon see more little lending libraries popping up around town. As part of a new program from the Hoover Public Library, new little lending libraries will appear in 15 of the city’s apartment complexes.

What’s Happening

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The children’s section at the Hoover Public Library. Photo via Hoover Public Library

Recently, an anonymous donor sent the Hoover Public Library a gift of $2500 to cover the cost of building five new little lending libraries. After the donation was received, a local nonprofit called Hoover Helps pledged to pay for 10 more little lending libraries.

These 15 new little lending libraries will be located at apartment complexes throughout the city, giving children access to free books.

One of the Hoover Public Library’s goals this year is to expand the reach of the library outside of its brick-and-mortar location. These new little lending libraries will accomplish just that, bringing books to Hoover residents where they are.

“It’s no secret that to succeed in school, you have to be able to read. The younger you start reading, the more books you have in your home and the better reader you are.

We believe that there are a lot of what we call unintentional barriers service. A lot of people simply don’t know about the library…don’t have transportation to the library…that people aren’t visiting the library. We feel like if we can get books in the hands of kids at an early age, our literacy skyrockets and the children are more successful in school and in life. It’s essential to kids to have books and access to books.”

Amanda Borden, Director, Hoover Public Library

How it works

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Books at the Hoover Public Library. Photo via the Hoover Public Library

Little lending libraries have been widely popular in recent years, giving people and especially children increased access to books. You can find them throughout Hoover and the Birmingham area in front yards and other locations.

Little lending libraries work by letting people pick up a book anytime at no cost. Initially, Hoover Helps is stocking some of them with donated books from its recent “Kindness Week” book drive. The Hoover Public Library will stock the five boxes donated by the anonymous giver.

“A lending library works where people can put books in and take books out. But our focus is just a little bit different, because we are targeting the children in those communities, and trying to get books into their hands and in their homes. Our focus will be early literacy materials and ESL books.”

Amanda Borden, Director of the Hoover Public Library

Where you can find them

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Taken in 2018, staff at the Hoover Public Library show some excitement for books. Photo via Hoover Public Library.

Here are some of the locations already approved for Hoover’s little lending libraries:

  • Riverchase Landing
  • Hawthorne at Lake Heather
  • Ridge Crossings

The rest of the locations are being considered by several Hoover apartment complexes and the Hoover Public Library. You can expect to see little lending libraries pop up in around a month, according to Borden.

Learn more about the Hoover Public Library:

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Claire Hancock
Claire Hancock
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