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Little Free Libraries Arrive in Pasadena, Coming to Monrovia

Across the county, a national organization is encouraging residents to start little library boxes in their neighborhoods. There are two in Pasadena and one in Altadena. Monrovia's are coming soon.

At some of the newest libraries in town, you won’t find a selection of DVD’s, CD’s, or anything for your Kindle. It’s also pretty much guaranteed they don’t have WIFI or computers. These new libraries have only one thing on offer: Books.

It’s the Tiny Library, or Tiny House Library, or Little Free Library™. Somewhat bigger than a mailbox, the library is usually a homemade box resembling a bungalow or cottage, perched on a post, standing near the street outside a private home. And filled with books --free books.  

The one pictured here is at the corner of Catalina and Atchison in Pasadena, and there is also one in Altadena at 90 W. Mariposa Street.

It’s the ultimate lending library or book swap, with no library card or fines, run entirely on the honor system. The concept of the little library is simply “Take a book. Leave a book.”  

There’s really no telling how many little libraries there are in Pasadena, Altadena, or the U.S., for that matter. Those that sign up with the Little Free Library™ group appear on this map (two are in Pasadena, one in Altadena).  But many strike out on their own, making them strictly a neighborhood affair, such as the one on Canyon Crest in Altadena.

The little libraries will soon be coming to Monrovia after the fire department teamed up with the library's Teen Advisory Board to build and paint four little libraries last month. They could be installed around the city some time this month.

Whether independent or part of a nationwide group, the weekly selection at any little library is sure to be unexpected and eclectic. But rather than visiting with a specific novel or author of mind, take a chance – try something different. Approach the little library the same way you approach a book – with a sense of adventure. Think inside the box.

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