The Little Free Library in Jumeirah Image Credit: Supplied

Did you know that Little Free Libraries are a global phenomenon? The small, front-yard book exchanges number more than 100,000 around the world in 85 countries — from Iceland to Tasmania to Pakistan. Each year, nearly 10 million books are shared in Little Free Libraries around the world.

Now, there is a new Little Free Library in Jumeirah 1, thanks to Dubai residents Kelly Harvarde and Alex Jeffries who decided to join the movement to share books, bring people together and create communities of readers.

Once Kelly and Alex decided to put a Little Free Library outside their villa, Alex worked with a Satwa carpenter on a custom-built design. The colourful library, which they decorated as a family is open and fully stocked.

A young reader at the Little Free Library Image Credit: Supplied

Take a book and share a book

The concept is simple: Take a book - if you see something you’d like to read, take it. You don’t have to give a book at the same time as you take one. Share a book - after you’ve read it, share it in any Little Free Library book-sharing box, bring it back here, or pass it on to a friend. Be a friend of all libraries, big and small. Share books whenever you can.

“Our Little Free Library doesn’t just belong to us, it belongs to the whole community,” says Kelly, who is also the host of UAE podcast Good Intentions, which just like the Little Free Library, aims to spread positivity and inspire listeners to live a more meaningful life. “It’s our hope that this Little Free Library will bring a little more joy, a little more connection and a whole lot more books to our community," she adds.

The Jumeirah 1 library is proving to be extremely popular, with daily visitors perusing the titles, which cover every genre from fiction to cooking to languages and history. There’s also a special selection just for children.

“It’s magical seeing people pass by and enjoy the library, especially now that the weather is cooling down,” says Kelly. “We’ve met so many lovely people. Some are neighbours from Jumeirah, some are passing by on their way to or from work in their cars. We families who come on bikes or as part of their evening walk. To be able to share our love of reading and to pass books on and receive them is a truly wonderful thing.

You can find the Jumeirah 1 Little Free Library on the global map here:

- As told to Esha Nag, Senior Editor