Little green boxes house free books

Free books await in the Little Green Box at Has Beans Coffee & Tea Company on Humboldt Avenue.Photo credit: Matthew Vacca

Community sharing of literature is being promoted through two little green boxes in Chico.

The Little Free Libraries are schoolhouse-shaped boxes filled with books the public is welcome to share and take, said David Overton, a Chico State student and social work intern for the Love Chapmantown Coalition.

“The idea is that people will take books, read them and they will eventually end up giving one back,” he said.

The libraries stay stocked with donations from Lyon Books and Chico Friends of the Library, but cookbooks, books on video and audiobooks also turned up through community donors, Overton said.

The Little Free Libraries are located in front of Has Beans Coffee & Tea Company on Humboldt Avenue and Subud Hall in the Chapmantown neighborhood.

As of 2014, about 15,000 Little Free Libraries have been registered around the world, according to the Little Free Library’s website.

The project began in 2009 when Todd Bol from Hudson, Wis. built a wooden model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former schoolteacher who loved reading. He filled it with books that community members could take for free.

The program was brought to Chico by the Love Chapmantown Coalition, but was put on hold until Overton was offered the task of completing the project.

Overton made the boxes weatherproof and added doors and shingles, said Oliver Allen, outreach coordinator for the Butte County Library.

More Little Free Libraries will arrive in Butte County soon, Allen said.

Allen said he was approved $500 to fund additional boxes and register the current boxes with the Little Free Libraries’ international program.

The new boxes will be installed in Chico’s heavily trafficked areas, Overton said.

“We’re spreading out,” he said. “We started in Chapmantown and now we’re hopefully going to cover a lot of neighborhoods in Butte County.”

The goal is to have up to 40 Little Free Libraries around Butte County by 2015, Allen said.

Chico State students and community members can help the Little Free Libraries program by donating money, resources or their time, he said.

Madison Holmes can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.