Take a book, leave a book: either way it’s free for everyone in Leeds to use.
Since 2017, Leeds Little Free Libraries have been popping up all over the city, with a mission to encourage random acts of kindness by leaving books for others to read.
There are now over 80 mini libraries to visit, with some open to the public and others focusing on school users.
According to previous reports, over a third of Leeds’ public libraries have closed since 2011, and although these tiny library stands can’t make up for the lack of funding the public system has in place, it is still inspiring a generation of readers- albeit through different methods.
The little libraries can be found using an interactive online map to help guide users to their nearest library, where they can pick up and drop off literature of any kind.
The project is run by a group of volunteers,and founded artist Carry Franklin, who installed the first Little Free Library in Leeds back in 2017, on the day of the general election results.
Franklin believed that the the boxes “feel a bit like political acts”, working against the “tide of commercialism, hate, fear, selfishness – they’re the opposite of that”.
Sadly, founder Carry Franklin passed away in 2019, but the Little Free Library has since continued through a dedicated team and the support of local artists. Some of the little libraries now receiving funding from Leeds City Council or local schools to keep the book exchange alive.
The Little Free Library continues to surprise locals with its locations ranging from Bradford and Pudsey to Wakefield, Ossett, as well as covering the majority of villages close to the city centre like Headingley, Chapel Allerton, Armley and there’s even a little lending library down by Leeds Docks too.
The latest box was revealed last month on the Leeds Little Free Library with only a few clues to its location:
“Guess where this one’s gone up… It’s a triangle, it’s near Wakefield… Now on Green Lane, Lofthouse, the very rhubarby Forced Rhubarb box, painted by our Jack.
Funded by LCC OS CC, thanks to Cllrs Karen Renshaw and Lisa Mulherin for braving the cold with us”.
The ‘Rhubarb Box’ can be found using the online interactive map, along with the others in and around Leeds.
Feature Image- Leeds Little Free Library