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I was out exploring the other day during a snow storm. As I drove, I passed this community-minded miniature library mounted to a tree. The warm coziness of the interior stored safely behind that glass contrasts starkly with the cold white of the driving snow I found myself in. This, I thought, is a haven. A safe place. A sanctuary.

The door to this font of knowledge and entertainment is closed against the weather, but unlocked. Always open. Visitors are encouraged to freely take and to give books, using the time old honour system. Keeping the library full and fresh, and encouraging revisits.

Since taking this image I have discovered more. This is only one of many such libraries, in many locations, many countries. They are a source of hope and inspiration, and proof that reading is a pleasure still enjoyed by people around the world. I have talked with people that have used such libraries for years. That see these as their only friends. As lifelines. As connections to places they will never know beyond their imaginations, brought to them by little boxes like this. Freedom.

Seeing this little box full of books made me smile. And now I know more about them, they will continue to make me smile. Every time and everywhere I see them. They are a simple source of inspiration, to me and to others. Humanity still has hope, where such things as this are to be found. This is why I explore.

Community library mounted to a tree

Prints available for all images by request.
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