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Published on Sep 19, 2013
When Todd Bol built a model of a one-room school house full of books as a memorial to his mother in 2009, he had no idea what that simple idea would inspire. He and his friend Rick Brooks co-founded what would become "a worldwide phenomenon" of at least 12,000 Little Free Libraries in more than 50 countries by the end of 2013 . Opening the door to a small wooden box on a post in his front yard would serve as a model for hundreds of millions of readers.
Designed to promote a sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults and libraries around the world, their neighborhood book exchanges have been hailed as builders of social capital and intergenerational friendships, new American folk crafts, effective tools for rekindling a love of printed books and literacy. They have attracted architects, librarians, teachers, scout troups and small businesses alike. "Take a book, return a book" began to become an everyday norm of urban and rural life.
The decidedly low-tech Little Free Library has been honored with the "Movers & Shakers" award from the American Library Association, Innovations in Reading by the National Book Foundation and as one of the "50 Surprising Reasons We Love America" by Reader's Digest.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)