For some reason, Masonic buildings seem to be on two ends of a spectrum. On one end, the building is imposing, i.e. the Detroit Masonic Temple. On the other end is a building like my lodge's, a facade that disappears into downtown. In both cases, the community can feel a bit put off. So, what do we do? A lot of lodges smartly host community events, meet at neighborhood functions, and perform other outreach ideas. But there are always more good ideas that we can employ.
One idea that is coming out of Hudson, Wisconsin that is garnering a lot of attention is the Little Free Library. The concept is relatively simple. A neighbor puts a box that resembles a dollhouse on top of a post. Inside the small house is a shelf or two of books. The books are donated by the community, including the Steward of the Little Free Library.
At least from all the articles, once the Little Free Library is installed, the community starts to come together. It becomes the community watercooler as people gather to see what books are there and to chat about what's going on in the neighborhood. The library is filled with an eclectic mix of donated books and the books are labeled with the phrase, "Take a Book, Leave a Book."
I was thinking about how this idea could be used by Masonic lodges, especially those with front lawns. Think about it. The Little Free Library could be filled with interesting Masonic tomes, books about self improvement, Dan Brown books, or whatever the lodge that meets there thinks is a cool idea. The Little Free Library is cheap to build and can be made with recycled material. The cost for registering it on the map is a paltry $34.95.
View Little Free Library Index > Scroll Down in a larger map
I think this idea is great. Just think, a nice looking box of books open to the community to share would be something unique and acceptable to the neighborhood. In one article I read, a comment is made that the Little Free Library is like a porch that extends to the street. I think this is a wonderful community outreach program that doesn't cost much money and would extend porch of King Solomon's Temple to the street. Let's make this happen.
What do you think? Should Masonic Lodges put Little Free Libraries in front of their temples? Leave a comment below.