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Little Free Libraries transform to help neighborhoods

Since the coronavirus pandemic, people across the country have been stocking food and supplies instead of books.

MINNEAPOLIS — You may have one on your block, or have seen the brightly colored wooden boxes standing on poles, usually at the edge of home's yard: Little Free Libraries. They're usually filled with used books for free and for trade. 

But since the outbreak of coronavirus, many of these Libraries are being converted into a different resource for their neighborhoods - pantries. 

They're being loaded up with food, toilet paper, face masks, and other essentials. A few have even been spotted with treasures like craft materials or other treats. 

The Little Free Library organization noticed the transformations in late February, and complied a map to help people find one of the boxes in their neighborhood. The map displays the address of the location, as well as information about the items offered. 

Leaders in the organization say their mission is still about books and spreading literacy, but they're glad to see so much giving.

"The Little Free Library has the ability as sort of that point in the neighborhood where people can safely navigate and help out one another and feel good about them being able to help other people through that platform, " said Greig Metzger, executive director of Little Free Library. 

Anyone who has a Little Free Library is welcome to add their location to the map by filling out this form

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