Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- If you love to read, you probably spend a fair amount of time at the library. But there is a worldwide phenomenon where the libraries are right in your neighborhood. They're called Little Free Libraries.
In this quiet northwest neighborhood sits a little box that's getting a lot of attention. Doug Hartling says, "I was working in the garage and a neighbor came by and said we really love your library."
Doug built the library as a Christmas gift for his wife, Karen, a former librarian who longed to share books with the neighbors. "I thought it might be nice because we were new to Nevada to feel a part of the neighborhood. It was a way to reach out and say 'We're here, new and we want to get to know everybody'."
There are thousands of little free libraries all over the world. Each a bit different. We found this one in another Las Vegas neighborhood. It was built in honor of the owner's sister. Back at the Hartling house, Doug built his library with all recycled materials. And local artist Courtney Murphy painted it based on a children's book. "It has a sign on it that says take a book return a book. "
The idea is simple but the impact is big. Take this thank you letter written by a woman who borrowed a book after losing her grandmother. "With it's ending I shed a tear of joy. This book was exactly what my soul needed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing it."
The Hartling's library is registered with Little Free Library, which just honored their library with a library of distinction award. But the real reward for the Hartlings is seeing so many return customers. "We have a lot of books. We've always had a lot of books in our house. They are like manure. If you don't spread it around nothing grows. We like sharing books. You can only read one so may times. So sharing good literature with people. That's what books are for."
To find a little free library near you, click here