West Leeds: Little Free Libraries light up one year on from founder’s passing

4 June 2020

Today is the first anniversary of the death of Carry Franklin, the founder of the Leeds Little Free Library movement, writes Jo Fiddes.

This initiative began with a single library outside her house and is now a network of over 50 libraries spread across the city – including many in West Leeds.

In an outpouring of love and appreciation, Little Free Libraries were decorated with fairy lights this time last year to mark her passing.

A message posted yesterday on the Leeds Little Free Library Facebook page said:

“At 4am tonight it will be a year since Carry died, and we’ve never needed her fearless, joyful responses to adversity more. If you still have fairy lights you know what to do. If not, she loved flowers. Transform your little libraries and send us your photos. We’ll show everyone that her spirit lives on – especially in dark times!”

The Little Free Library on Airedale Cliff in Bramley.

Caroline Clark, friend of Carry and the host of the Little Free Library on Airedale Cliff in Bramley, said:

“When the coronavirus restrictions were first implemented, we discussed whether we should temporarily close the library but in the end we decided to remain open and implement a regular cleaning/wipe down regime. We are so glad we did.

“More people walk past on their daily exercise, and that combined with the fact that the city libraries are closed, has led to a real increase in the number of books taken and donated.

“At a time when we can be socially distanced, the little free library has been a focal point, and it really does feel like a fitting tribute to Carry – bringing communities together in the most difficult of times.

“Our library has once again been adorned with fairy lights in memory of the beautiful Carry, who continues to inspire and enchant.”

Whilst some libraries are temporarily closed (mostly those located in school grounds), many remain open.

Check out this map of Little Free Libraries to find the one closest to you.

Read more of WLD’s coverage of Little Free Libraries here.

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