Have you seen little libraries that look like birdhouses popping up in unusual places in Waldo County? They are part of a nationwide trend of “Little Free Libraries” and a county-wide initiative of Literacy Volunteers.

One of them — at Wales Park on Main Street — features Snoopy. On behalf of Literacy Volunteers of Waldo County, Snoopy will host a Story Book Time event Saturday, Sept. 24, from 2 to 2:45 p.m.  Children of all ages are invited to come.  Parents, too!

The Little Free Library program model was developed in Madison, Wis., in 2010.  According to littlefreelibrary.org, there are over 40,000 registered Little Free Libraries including all 50 states and 70 other countries. There are many already in Maine, in Unity, Eastport, York, Kennebunk, Dedham, Blue Hill, Bangor, Waterville and elsewhere.

Little Free Libraries are small, attractive, cabinet-sized structures attached to a post that stands on the side of a street, in a neighborhood, on a bike path or wherever people are likely to pass by frequently. LFLs are stocked with used books, and signage invites passersby to “Take a book, leave a book.” They are often whimsical and eye-catching in design.

In Belfast, Literacy Volunteers of Waldo County built and installed its first Waldo Reads! Little Free Library on Bridge Street in the summer of 2015. It is used almost daily, with its collection maintained by volunteers who act as stewards to ensure the library is well stocked.

Since then, LVWC has created three more libraries; two were built by Waldo County Tech Center students and one by a volunteer. One has been placed at the Belfast Transfer Station, another is installed in Swanville, and the third — featuring Snoopy — has been installed in Wales Park. LVWC hopes to place more libraries throughout Waldo County by summer 2017.

The benefits of these little libraries are multifold. They bring “literacy to the streets” to provide an appealing, 24-hours-a-day easy access to a book exchange that doesn’t require library cards, parking or late fines. The Little Libraries celebrate reading and appeal to a broad cross-section of readers — from the avid to the occasional to the reluctant, from the senior citizens to teenagers and families and children, from readers of fiction, nonfiction, how to guides and magazines.

For more information about how you can contribute to the Waldo Reads! Little Free Libraries or about the Story Book Time event or about Literacy Volunteers, please contact Literacy Volunteers at 338-3197, waldoreads.org or waldoreads@rsu71.org.