Monday, 23 March 2015

We've got knits!

The BIG Little Library is all about books and reading, of course - but there are other things going on there as well!

One thing that's proving popular is the chance to do a bit of knitting :-) The idea of 'Knit a Shop' (needles & wool supplied!) is that anyone can choose a colour and knit a few rows... then tie a tag to it with the date and a few words about why you chose that colour.

All the little bits of knitting get joined together, and over the 3 months the 'shop' is open it builds up its own story of the people who've visited (and it'll look like Tom Baker's Dr Who scarf :-))

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The BIG Little Presentation!

Finally, the pics have arrived to prove it, and we can - very proudly - bring you our other news from World Book Day!

Regular readers will be aware that the Lord Mayor, Erica Kemp, was one of our earliest supporters - and some time back we discussed with her the possibility of getting a Little Library for Liverpool Town Hall - she was very keen on the idea so we asked our friends at Gateacre School if they'd be interested in providing one... and they said yes :-)

Pictured above is the moment where headmaster Mr Gerard Lonergan presented the Little Library to the Lord Mayor, flanked by Lisa Mitchell, the unstoppable force behind the BIG Little Library, and yours truly on behalf of the Middlefield Rd version.

What a proud moment!
After I'd performed my most important task of the day (I carried it back to the Lord Mayor's limo), the Little Library took up pride of place in the magnificent splendour of the Town Hall's foyer - where the staff are already helping to stock it. 

But that's not all...

One of the most important aspects to the BIG Little Library is the active promotion of more Little Little Libraries :-)

Over the course of its 3 months, Gateacre School will be providing a total of 10 Little Libraries to people around Merseyside!!! The first one is in the Town Hall, the last one is going to stay in Belle Vale Shopping Centre... and the ones in between will be going to a variety of people, institutions and community groups who've asked for them - we'll keep you up to date with each one right here :-) Is that fab, or what?!?!

Unfortunately, yes it does mean that those Little Libraries are all already spoken for... fortunately, there is still a way for you to get one of your own :-) Whilst these Little Libraries are made from new materials, we also encourage people to 'upcycle' (apparently that's a word... now) various old materials and furniture to make their own, unique and beautiful Little Libraries (like ours <3) - we're going to be using the BIG Little Library (and 'elsewhere') to run some workshops helping people to do this (and providing some or all of the materials), so keep watching... 

Oh, and if you're wondering who the lady in the marvellous hat is, apparently she's the High Sheriff of Merseyside ;-)

Speaking of unique & beautiful Little Libraries - here are some more pics of the amazing decoration job Lisa did on the Town Hall's... if you look really closely at the pic on the left you'll see a pic (bottom centre) from the Giants, with a couple of Lilliputians walking in front of Grandma - yes folks, that's me and Lisa, and that's how we first met up and started planning crazy stuff :-)



Thursday, 5 March 2015

Wow - starting with a bang!

WOW! And, when we say "Wow", we mean full-on Kate-Bush-arm-swinging "WOW!" (YouTube it :-)). Today was the opening day for the BIG Little Library - and what an amazing first day it was :-)

Our friends at Gateacre School (in particular Lisa Mitchell) have worked so hard to pull this together - Belle vale Shopping Centre very kindly offered them a shop unit for 3 months, so long as they used it for something to do with literacy... and they loved our Little Library so much they decided to create the BIG Little Library (by Gateacre School) - and they've done a great job!
Some of the pupils from Gateacre School came over to help out with the opening - and a credit to the school they were too :-)

In addition there were several groups of kids from other local schools... and - what with it being World Book Day - the younger ones were all dressed up as their favourite book characters... don't they look fab?

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Erica Kemp, has been a big supporter of our Little Library since not long after we launched it, and - despite having a big Volunteer Event on at the Town Hall today - she made the time to come along and open the Big Little Library :-)

The kids gave her a great welcome!
The big moment - Erica snips the (Gateacre purple) ribbon and declares the Big Little Library... OPEN!

Ably abetted by (L-R) Paul, the Manager of Belle Vale Shopping Centre; Bella, the Belle Vale Bumble Bee, and the unstoppable Lisa...
So much for official duties! Erica's first priority once everyone was inside was to get comfy in 'Cosy Corner' and start reading a story to the little girl of one of the shoppers - I think that says a lot about why we like her :-)
It was so lovely to see the place so full and absolutely buzzing!

Of course we realise it's not always going to be quite so busy... but three are various special events and activities planned so we'll be talking a bit more about some of them in future posts...
We'll also be following up (very soon) with another post about the other reason why Erica was at the opening and how we're tying the Big and Little, Little Libraries, together...
The dressing up basket in 'Cosy Corner' proved to be a big hit :-)
Lots of satisfied 'customers' - that's what we like to see! :-)
Hopefully Lisa's having a very well earned rest at the end of a hectic first day (at the end of several hectic weeks) 'making the magic happen'...

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Tomorrow's the BIG (Little Library) Day!

Can't remember whether we've mentioned that tomorrow - World Book Day, 5th March - at 1pm is the opening of the BIG Little Library? Think we may have mentioned it in passing, but worth doing so again because it's really pretty special :-)

Lord Mayor Erica Kemp will be there to be open it - and we'll be making a very special presentation to her... I wonder if you can guess what it is?

It would be fantastic to see you too - especially tomorrow, but any time in the next 3 months :-)

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

More Teasing...

We know you shouldn't tease... but we just can't resist... we're so excited about the BIG Little Library opening in Belle Vale Shopping Centre at 1pm this Thursday (World Book Day) that we just had to share this photo of 'Cosy Corner'... just in case you're not all following @GateacreLL

DO please come along and support our friends from Gateacre School - we heard a rumour there'll be cake :-)

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

This is BIG!!!

You remember how we told you (all that time ago - soz) how there were BIG things coming..? Well - they're almost here!!!

Our friends at Gateacre School have been massively busy preparing "The BIG Little Library", in Bellevale Shopping Centre - and absobloominglutely fabulous it looks too (some sneak preview pics below so you can see what I mean) :-) 

Its going to be opened by the Lord Mayor - our good friend Erica Kemp - at 1pm on 5th March, which is of course World Book Day... and it would be absolutely brilliant to see any of our Little Library supporters and users come along to welcome it to the world. Please follow the twitter feed @GateacreLL as well!

Lots more to come, but mustn't jump the gun...

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year!

We had a lovely New Year - hope you all did too :-) We spent ours with good friends - rather than reading, for once! - and we'd like to thank 2 of those friends - Jim & Aileen - for the gift of a pair of lovely books to add to the Little Library.

What a fabulous way to start the New Year -with a beautiful book of children's poetry and an absolute classic from Dr Seuss - we love it Sam-I-Am; we really love "Green Eggs and Ham" :-)

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Xmas to all our readers!

We just wanted to wish you a happy whatever-it-is-you-celebrate at this time of year - Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Solstice, etc - or maybe you just like to celebrate being with your favourite people :-)

If you're quick you can still find Charles Dickens' classic "Christmas Carol" in the Little Library... it's short so you could still curl up and read it before the big day!

If you've never read it, it's well worth it - a bit schmalzy, maybe, but that's what the time of year is all about - but it is genuinely moving in parts (despite its familiarity) and it does leave you with a warm feeling... so long as you'e willing to let go of your world weary cynicism just that little bit...

In so may ways this is the book that defined our views of a 'traditional Christmas'... so go ahead and give it a go... first come, first served!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

More Little Libraries!

We're spreading! Like a literary lichen, creeping its way across the landscape, enriching and decorating as it goes :-)

This week our good friend (and erstwhile fellow-Lilliputian) Lisa Mitchell, was finally 'nudged' into doing what she'd been thinking about for some time, and set up a Little Library in Gateacre School (where she works) - a great additional resource for staff and students alike (and a 'toe in the water' for more future collaborations - watch this space!)

And then, doing the post for that, I realised... that I had never actually done a post for our dear old friends, 'The Cottles' who loved the idea of our Little Library so much that they set up their own in Pine View, Winstanley - pictured here with the lovely Zoe & Heidi.

Great job Team Cottle!

You can keep up with The Pine View Little Library at:

Friday, 31 October 2014

A Visit to the Town Hall

Well, we still haven't been posting much, but big things are afoot!

There'll be more news to come, but for the moment we just wanted to let everyone know that we we went to the Town Hall to visit Lord Mayor Erica Kemp earlier this week, and a very interesting meeting it was too...

Erica was one of our earliest supporters (before she became Lord Mayor) so it was lovely to see her again - and (for the first time) the beautiful inside of Liverpool's Town Hall.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Bootle still going strong

Goodness - how time seems to be flying... and we are way overdue for a few updates on here :-) Starting with an update on how well the Little Library in Bootle is doing under our Will's care. He reports:

"The liitle library is going very well. People take the books on a
regular basis and replace them with their own. Its genuinely self sustaining. 

Oddly, the books that disappear the quickest are the childrens' books. It seems
that 'Denis the Menace' is popular in our building for some reason! Weird, 
because we have no children in the building! So I really need more children's
books for the bookshelf. Did you know Andy that they are more expensive than the novels?

Also, novels about Liverpool are very popular whilst romance novels are the least popular.
That reminds me to get some more childrens' books from Aged Concern. Its important to have 
as much diversity as you can.

One of the other interesting things he reports is the way that people spontaneously started to leave other things for exchange, such as CDs, DVDs and even food that they couldn't use up! We're loving the way people can shape their Little Libraries in ways that suit them and which we would never have anticipated :-)

Friday, 15 August 2014

Normal Service...

 Well - it's been far too long since our last post! That's partly due to being a 'Lilliputian' in this...

...which was utterly amazing, but - we know - no excuse for ignoring you... sorry!

In the meantime just look what's been going on in the Little Library - we've had donations, stickers, visitors from abroad and all kinds of good book-lovin' :-)
Please keep on visiting, leaving stickers with your comments and recommendations, and enjoying your Little Library.

We've said it before and we'll say it again - if you want a book, just take it. If you have one to leave in its place, that's great - if you haven't, that's great too - the most important thing is that anyone who wants a book ends up with one (or more - read away, dear friends, read away!).

Friday, 4 July 2014


Our lovely (but still anonymous) neighbour 'AB' has been at it again - this time combining creativity with generosity, by making some fabulous bookmarks for the users of the Little Library - how cool and kind is that?! :-)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

They think it's all over - well it ain't...

England may have failed once again to add anything to "1966 and all that", but there's no need to give up on footie just yet ... a quick look in the Little Library Reveals a few books to keep you going until the pre- season friendlies start. We've got (ghosted) autobiographies of QPR, Man Utd & England defender Paul Parker; and the man who's played just about everywhere, Robbie Savage (or "Lily", as the Kop memorably christened him: D)

For the kids we've got a book of 'true football stories' - recommended by no less than our very own supporter, 'AB'. Maybe even enough to take your mind off how well Costa Rica are doing...

Saturday, 28 June 2014

100 Years Ago Today...

As people around a large part of the world remember Gavrilo Princip's assassination of Archduke Ferdinand a century ago - an act which is generally considered to have been the flapping butterfly which tipped the world over into the hurricane of the First World War - we thought it was time to feature "The Last Fighting Tommy"... yet another book you'll find in our Little Library (if you're quick!).

It's the ghosted autobiography of Harry Patch, who was the last living veteran of those godawful WWI trenches that still have the power to so move us a hundred years later. Sadly Harry died in 2009 (aged 111!), but he left behind this powerful story of an ordinary young man plunged into 4 years of hell - one of the lucky ones who came out of the other side - who later became an outspoken peace campaigner.

"When the war ended, I don't know if I was more relieved that we'd won or that I didn't have to go back. Passchendaele was a disastrous battle – thousands and thousands of young lives were lost. It makes me angry. Earlier this year, I went back to Ypres to shake the hand of Charles Kuentz, Germany's only surviving veteran from the war. It was emotional. He is 107. We've had 87 years to think what war is. To me, it's a licence to go out and murder. Why should the British government call me up and take me out to a battlefield to shoot a man I never knew, whose language I couldn't speak? All those lives lost for a war finished over a table. Now what is the sense in that?"

We don't have that many non-fiction books in the Little Library - there's such a wide range of subjects to cover it's just really hard to know what people might want... if you'd like to see more non-fiction then please let us know what areas you're interested in :-)

Friday, 20 June 2014

Little Library in Bootle!

 Regular readers (of this blog) will know that we get excited quite a lot... and we're bouncing off the walls right now :-)

We've dropped a few hints about hoping to expand... and we have! The intrepid, resourceful and book-loving Phil Elliott has started a Little Library in a block of housing association flats in Bootle.

He wanted a more straightforward book-case, rather than a cabinet, to put in the foyer of the flats, and we were delighted to help him find it and stock it with some books.

Some of our lovely neighbours who have donated books to us may recognise them in the photos - we hope they'll approve of the great home we found for them.

Since these pics were taken, just after we set it up, Phil's neighbours have donated enough additional books to fill it right up, and the whole thing is going gangbusters with people in the block borrowing the books - that's what it's all about, folks :-)

We'd love to see more Little Libraries springing up, so please take us up on our offer to help YOU start one for your neighbourhood... and if you just happen to run a housing association - why not talk to us about setting them up throughout your properties... it's a wonderful way to increase neighbourly feeling and improve people's lives.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Liverpool Stories

We've noticed that one of the things that's very popular in the Little Library, is books based in Liverpool - who'd 'a' thought?!

Obviously it changes, but right now (well, yesterday) we have SIX of these, just awaiting your delectation. I have to confess that I haven't read any of these :-) To be honest, I don't think that people go for these because of the reviews, though - they go for them because they get a good story in a setting that has the added vitatlity of personal familiarity.

Books are a wonderful escape; a chance to step into someone else's world - Carl Sagan said it way better than I ever could, so I've included that below as well - but the additional memories evoked by a shared familiarity with (at least some aspects of) the setting can add an additional layer of richness

Liverpool is a city with a wealth if cultural history that few others can match, so it should come as no surprise that it provides the perfect backdrop for a wide selection of stories - or that there are a number of local writers who specialise, or have done, in exactly that.