Little Free Libraries Installed Across Chicagoland Just in Time for the Holidays


Can you think of a book that changed your life? Oftentimes, it’s something you read as a child that opened your imagination and kept you turning the pages. It might’ve taken you somewhere else while you were reading, made you want to talk with friends about ideas it gave you or simply compelled you to read more books. Sadly, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, many children in the Chicagoland area have limited access to books and are missing out on all of the benefits that come with reading. 

Thanks to Mainstreet and members like you, 15 Little Free Libraries were recently distributed across the Chicagoland area just in time for the holidays. These free libraries, which hold around 20 books, encourage community members to take part in book exchanges where you can take a book and return one free of charge.

The Mainstreet libraries can be found outside of schools, churches, offices and homes and offer community members access to more than just words on paper. Books are shown to improve writing, conversational skills, self-discipline, subject-matter expertise and much more — critical skills for children to develop. Approximately 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read, and if the country is going to close this literacy gap, young people need access to reading materials as well as reading education.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we all lost the ability to visit our public libraries and thus, access to books. Many schools and libraries remain closed and these little libraries give us back the gift of literature,” said MORe Board of Directors President Linda Dressler. “We felt compelled to make a difference in our local communities and Little Free Libraries seemed like the perfect way for our members to do their part.”

Mainstreet members submitted applications to have Little Free Libraries installed in their cities or towns. 15 members were chosen and MORe funded the projects thanks to a megagrant from the National Association of REALTORS®

The members and communities that received new Little Free Libraries are: 

  • Brian Kwilosz, Downers Grove

  • Maribel Salgado-Little, Blue Island

  • Marsha Collins-Mroz, Niles

  • Dale Taylor, Homewood

  • Rachel White, Tinley Park

  • Dana Hybl, Carol Stream

  • Karen Parent, Lombard

  • Dawn Hinton, Palatine 

  • Eileen Oliver, Maywood

  • April Hieronymous, Glendale Heights

  • Patricia Smarto, Fox Lake

  • Mark Typlin, Hainesville

  • Barb Noote, Grayslake

  • Jennifer Prell, Palatine

  • Marge Cahill, Tinley Park

There are over 100,000 Little Free Libraries around the world in over 70 counties. Mainstreet and its members are proud to do our part to encourage communities to share books they love and inspire the next generation to enjoy reading.

If you’d like to learn more about setting up your own Little Free Library, you can do so here.