You might have seen them in your neighborhood – they look like mailboxes or birdhouses but inside, you’ll find books.
These "little free libraries" are popping up everywhere, encouraging people to read.
"We wanted to have a place where anyone can come by, feel free to pick up a book, learn a little bit,” Chirag Vaid, a library steward, said.
He recently installed a little free library outside his dental practice on Capitol and 22nd Street in Midtown.
“Because we're right behind it, it makes it easy, we can check on it every day, and a lot of the donations come from our patients," Vaid added.
Think of it as a book exchange. The way it works, you drop-off a book and pick-up a new one.
"A lot of times, people who come, they'll take one, and put one in, but every once in a while they'll be people who just come and take it, and that's absolutely fine,” Vaid said. “We just want to keep it replenished by itself."
As a steward, Chirag makes sure to keep his library full. He bought the book exchange box, but you can also make one yourself.
Not too long ago, we caught up with students in Modesto who were building these types of libraries as part of a class.
"I love being in this class because you're building something and you're helping other people,” Aimee Tomas, junior at Stanislaus Military Academy, said.
The concept is simple: Inspire others to read, while building a sense of community and the idea is spreading fast. There is now an entire network of these libraries scattered throughout the country.
“We want people to read as much as possible because knowledge is power," Vaid said. "The more that they can get access to and the easier it is to get access to it, the better it is for them personally, professionally."
We know, increasing access to books can be life-changing. Click here to find out more information about these libraries.