These little libraries in Leeds are supplying the city and the suburbs with free books

Take a book, leave a book and get reading. These little libraries are here to serve all Leeds’ communities.

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.

‘Take a book, leave a book’. / Image: Leeds Little Free Library

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.

Carry Franklin, the founder of the Little Free Library was a much-loved art teacher who left behind ‘a beautiful project and legacy’ for the entire community to enjoy. / Image: Leeds Little Free Library

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.

There’s now over 100 in total, spread far and wide across the city.

pop up library box painted in rhubarbs
The ‘very rhubarby Forced Rhubarb Box’ was revealed on Instagram in November 2021. / Image: Leeds Little Free Library

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Feature Image- Leeds Little Free Library

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