CRANFORD, NJ – A new Little Free Library has popped up in Cranford at 102 Centennial Avenue.
The library, a small mosaic box filled with books, was created by Cranford resident Allison Tyler, who wanted to share her love of books with the community. It is the third one in Cranford, in addition to Little Free Libraries on Manor Avenue and Belmont Avenue.
“Libraries have always been my happy place, a true gift since I was a child,” Tyler said. “Cranford's Public Library is a wonderful resource in our community, and I basically grew up among the stacks of the Linden Public Library. We love our town and wanted to connect with our neighbors, and share our love of books and reading.”
The Little Free Library is a global trend in which community members can participate in a "take a book, leave a book" exchange, normally found in small wooden boxes. There are 50,000 Free Little Libraries in the United States alone, but more exist in 70 countries around the world.
Tyler decorated her creative library by adding a stained glass mosaic to a Little Free Library box that she purchased on Etsy. She filled the box on her own for the beginning, but was given her first "reading buddy," a toy put in libraries for kids to take home and practice reading with, by the owners of the Little Free Library on Broad Steet in Westfield
“Reading saves lives and makes them soar,” Tyler said. “It is a pleasure to share with our community.”
People are welcome to stop by at any time, and Tyler will soon add an interior light to the library so night owls can visit. She asks that readers message her if they have any special requests.
“If there's a specific book or subject matter you're interested in, please let us know,” Tyler said. “If you visit, feel free to sign our guestbook; we love reading the messages left so far! If you share photos of our library on social media we'd love to see them.”
The Little Free Library can be visited in person anytime or found online using the hastage #littlefreelibrarycranford or on Instagram or Facebook under “Little Free Library Cranford.”