Michelle Henry, of Royal Oak, “opened” the library for business on Wednesday and stocked it with free books for adults and children. The Little Free Library, which is located on Henry's private property on Samoset near Mandalay, is open to the public 24/7, rain or shine.
"The idea behind it is when you put up a Little Free Library you are considered the steward of it and my responsibilities are to upkeep it and to initially stock it with books," Henry said. "And hopefully after that it becomes a community project and the community will take some responsibility for keeping it stocked so I do not have to constantly buy books for it."
Henry believes she has the perfect location for the little library - which at first glance looks like an attractive birdhouse - since it's across the street from an elementary school and Samoset Road is a popular street for joggers and dog walkers, she said.
"It's encouraged that you return the book or bring another book back instead, but it is definitely not a requirement," she said. "We will not come after you if you keep a book."
History of the Little Free LibraryThe Little Free Library movement began in 2009 when Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading, according to littlefreelibrary.org.
"He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it. He built several more and gave them away. Each one had a sign that said 'FREE BOOKS,'" reports the website.
The Little Free Library Movement estimates that there are between 5,000 and 6,000 Little Free Libraries in the world today.
Have a book you'd like to donate?
If you have a book you'd like to donate to the Little Free Library, you can just stop by and put the book in.
"I am looking for a mix of adult and children's books," Henry said. "I do want to keep children's books because I am located across the street from an elementary school and I think that would be a good resource for parents."
At the moment she has a combination of novels, non-fiction, young adults and young readers in the Little Free Library.
"I am looking for just a little something for everybody," she said. "If people have a favorite book that they want to share that is definitely welcomed. It's also encouraged to leave a note inside the book and tell people why you liked it and share your love of reading."
Henry hopes that once the word gets out to residents she'll have more books than she knows what to do with.