I set up Freeland’s Little Free Library in September 2015, with the help of a Community Activities Grant from our local authority, West Oxfordshire District Council. As part of the grant follow-up process, I am currently working on a report, the aim of which is to try to assess the success of the project. However, just how do you judge the success of a Little Free Library?
When I was filling out the grant application form, I stated that the main goals of the Little Free Library were as follows:
- To promote literacy and a love of books in our community
- To provide a free book sharing service in our community
I also expected that the community would benefit in the following ways:
- Increased access to free books (supplementing the mobile library that only visits twice a month)
- Increased sense of community in the village (through providing a service that is open to everyone, regardless of age)
- The Little Free Library would also be an additional focal point in the village
I planned to monitor the success of the Little Free Library by providing a comments book for people to write in, and conduct surveys to collect people’s opinions. To that end, I am currently distributing an online survey for people in the local community, which will hopefully help me to answer the question posed by West Oxfordshire District Council: Was the project successful?
(I will write about the survey results in my next blog post, and talk more about the feedback I have received since we installed the Little Free Library)
If you are interested in how others have attempted to monitor the success of free book exchanges, please visit The Neighborhood Book Exchange Study here.