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Is there any global sites I can add it to a list?


Absolutely. The LibraryThing Local. First check that it is not already listed, then list away...this one and others that you find!

Check if it's already listed:
http://www.librarything.com/---/surrey%2C+england

Where to add it:
http://www.librarything.com/venue_edit.php

The "type" is Little Libraries. Add the charter number if it has one.

You can find other LFL at this website:
http://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/

Complete Thread

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I know that many BookCrossers complain that Little Free Libraries don't get many "catches". However, as the LFL movement grows and more Bookcrossers use these, each will sort of boost the popularity of the other.

Here's a personal example:
I released the following book in my own LFL (an OBCZ). The book did not get chosen so I moved it to another LFL for release. The person who finally chose this book, not only joined BookCrossing to make a journal entry, but also stated that he/she would come to my own LFL/OBCZ to visit. Now *that* makes me happy!

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12527764
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Nice catch!

I have remarked on the much-lower catch-rate for LFL releases than my wilder wild releases, but I'm not really complaining; I love the idea of LFLs, and enjoy having them as relatively safe, easy-to-use options (especially when the weather's bad - though some of the local LFLs do get buried in snowplow ridges and are quite... challenging... to reach!). And I do hope that the LFLs will help boost interest in BookCrossing - and vice versa; I add links to the Little Free Library home page and the BookCrossing release-zone page for any book I release to, or take from, an LFL, so that whoever eventually finds that book can see where it came from.

I'm probably not the first to suggest this, but a special "LFL" icon for the BookCrossing hunting pages might be a nice touch. Some LFLs are OBCZs as well, of course, but many others are not, and having some way to highlight them on the hunting pages in the same way as OBCZs are could be helpful.
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I'm probably not the first to suggest this, but a special "LFL" icon for the BookCrossing hunting pages might be a nice touch.


Little Free Libraries are not hard to identify on the BookCrossing Go Hunting pages because they are each simply and usually just called a "Little Free Library" and many have their charter numbers associated with them.

Here's a sample page with several LFLs I visit:
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10524

I work hard to keep my local area info updated so it would help if others do the same here on BookCrossing for other LFLs they encounter in their own areas. I also try to take pictures of these LFLs and upload them both to LibraryThing Local and to BookCrossing Go Hunting.

On the LibraryThing Local pages, all "little libraries" may have more than one designation so many are identified both as a Little Free Library and a BookCrossing zone, although not all Bookcrossing zones are called "OBCZ" there. There are other options there as well, such as Free book exchange, Minibieb, Swap shelf, etc.
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I'm probably not the first to suggest this, but a special "LFL" icon for the BookCrossing hunting pages might be a nice touch.

Sure.

It would be another great way to show the world that BC still doesn't really see itself as a worldwide movement but as an america-centered movement where everyone else is just kindly allowed to follow. Although BC activity is much higher in Europe.

I'm not opposed against marking LFL.

I'm just asking what makes LFL more interesting to bookcrossers than any other kind of public bookshelf. IMHO there's nothing that does. Or rather, there's something that makes them less interesting as a BC spot: The fact that they usually are indeed "little" and house only a few books. Which means that you neither can drop off more than a few nor have the choice from more than a few.

In Central Europe, larger public bookshelves at central places are becoming very common. IMHO, they are the better release spots: There's usually enough space to house the books, they are usually located at public places with much pedestrian traffic, and so they are visited by many more people than a typical LFL could ever attract.

We should have a logo for public bookshelves prior than just one for LFL.

We might have another logo for LFL if you really think they are something else. Or maybe, as a warning that they might be too small to be worth a visit...
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Or rather, there's something that makes them less interesting as a BC spot: The fact that they usually are indeed "little" and house only a few books. Which means that you neither can drop off more than a few nor have the choice from more than a few.


I guess that could be a personal preference. I really do like all of the "little libraries" I've encountered over the past few years, both the LFLs, book swap cases in local cafés, and the OBCZs that members of my local BC group have organized and still run. None of these were "large".

I have a "little" library of my own and personally would not care to steward a large book collection simply due to logistics. My own LFL has a "neighborhood feel" to it which I like.

It would be another great way to show the world that BC still doesn't really see itself as a worldwide movement


I don't understand your cynicism (correct me if I'm wrong here), but LFL is an international movement...not an American movement. Because it started in the U.S. does not mean that it is necessarily U.S.-centered.

I personally don't see the need for logos other than the one of OBCZ here on the BookCrossing website.


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It would be another great way to show the world that BC still doesn't really see itself as a worldwide movement

I don't understand your cynicism (correct me if I'm wrong here), but LFL is an international movement...not an American movement. Because it started in the U.S. does not mean that it is necessarily U.S.-centered.

Turn that around: Because some carry it across the border it doesn't mean it's _not_ US-centered. LFL isn't really an international movement more than using this term as an obligatory buzzword. There are only a few of them outside of North America. The map they show is North America by default, if you want to see the rest, you need to zoom and pan. The shop doesn't even sell to anywhere else than USA and Canada. So how's that worldwide?

However, this is not a loss, IMHO. The concept of the LFL is good, but as it's done, it's not a concept but a brand. A brand held and marketed as franchise, including collection of license fees. This may indeed not be a source of irritation tomost Americans. Most Europeans, on the other side, don't see the need to brand it commercially. Give me the concept without the brand.

So there's the point in my cynicism: Promoting LFL (the brand, not the concept) on the BC site would only promote the US company but not the movement (the concept) while excluding independent and other movements in other regions with the same goal.
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So there's the point in my cynicism: Promoting LFL (the brand, not the concept) on the BC site would only promote the US company but not the movement (the concept) while excluding independent and other movements in other regions with the same goal.


I do agree with you here!

I'm all for promoting the "general concept" here on BookCrossing.

By the way, I visit the BC Go Hunting pages very frequently and do not miss the fact that most BookCrossing wild releases are in *your* country...Germany!

By the way, my dad was German, and my daughter is going to apply for German citizenship, so can we still be friends? ;)
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We should have a logo for public bookshelves prior than just one for LFL.


I'd be very happy with that, if it included the "OBCZ"-feature of making those zones visible on the hunting pages even if there were no recent releases there; my idea was to help encourage people to seek out such sites, whether looking for books or looking for easy release spots. (I guess I assumed that LFLs were international, but in any case I'd definitely want to include any type of swap-shelf.)

We might have another logo for LFL if you really think they are something else. Or maybe, as a warning that they might be too small to be worth a visit...


Heh! I don't really see a need for lots of different logos (though a tiny "Telephone Box" logo for the UK phone-box shelves would be very, very cute). But "too small"? I guess that depends on what you're used to in book-swap shelves. Many of the OBCZs I've been to are quite small themselves, little more than a single dedicated shelf or basket, often with few if any books there. I've seen quite a few LFLs that, despite the relatively small size, were loaded plentifully with books, much more so than some of the OBCZs.

That said, perhaps some additional attributes for release zones in general wouldn't hurt, along the lines of the ones Geocaching uses to indicate whether a specific cache is winter-friendly (i.e., can you find it under X feet of snow), has limited access-hours, etc. For release zones, the approximate size (possibly rendered in number of books likely to be there?), the affiliation (there's already a field for web sites on release-zone-info pages, which might be enough), indications as to whether there are business hours or entry fees or seasonal availability involved... That kind of thing could be included in text blocks for each zone, but if there were attribute-tags tied in to search/filter features, it'd let people look for "places within 10 miles of my town that are likely to have more than 20 books in them and are open after 5 PM".

So, yeah, lots of work, for which there aren't the resources - but I can dream...

Then again, much as I love having book-swap shelves around, I also love the random-public-place releases, so for the sake of my own BC-enjoyment I don't really need any enhancements to the release-zone information. But I think that if the UBCZ-type zones were as visible on the hunting pages as the OBCZs, it might help encourage a bit more BC activity.
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So, yeah, lots of work, for which there aren't the resources - but I can dream...


Gory, I've been entering the information about "little libraries" in my local area on LibraryThing Local. Obviously, I can't do everyone's information round the world, but the features you stated that you want are now on LibraryThing Local for me in my area (i.e. affiliation, text box to enter hours of operation or seasonality or entry fees, picture, and more). There is a map which does show all of the locations starting from any designation outward.

For example, here is the map of "little libraries" for my local area of Rockville,
Maryland.
http://www.librarything.com/---/rockville+maryland

Click on any of the links and see exactly how much information is provided. There is no limit to what you can add. You can also mark off when you make visits to each place as well as leave comments about each venue.

BookCrosser ardachy has done a terrific job of adding such venues to LT Local.

If others want this for themselves, all they have to do is enter the information one time, and it remains permanently on LT Local. Just sayin'.
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Many of the OBCZs I've been to are quite small themselves, little more than a single dedicated shelf or basket, often with few if any books there. (...)
I've seen quite a few LFLs that, despite the relatively small size, were loaded plentifully with books, much more so than some of the OBCZs.

The fact that there are OBCZ which better wouldn't be called BCZ, let alone "O", doesn't prove anything except itself.

What's the purpose of opening a public bookshelf of whatever kind? Dropping off books you want to give away, finding books you like to read. If these places are too small, hidden at a place where hardly anyone comes along, or inaccessible for lack of opening hours, they don't serve their purpose. Calling it an OBCZ is meaningless then. Advertising it as the place to go for bookcrossers on a visit by specially marking it on the go hunting pages calls for disappointment.
If the reason for opening an OBCZ is that some local bookcrosser wants to have his own OBCZ because of the "O", i.e. because everyone, including the website, calls that the nonplusultra, and having your own OBCZ might make you feel more important in the bookcrossing universe, then call it off.

I admit: I'm a heretic. I don't believe in OBCZ. When the logo appeared, I didn't welcome it. There are so many "OBCZ" out there which are nothing, or just a long-term-storage for books which could travel so far if people would bring them elsewhere.

But I think that if the UBCZ-type zones were as visible on the hunting pages as the OBCZs, it might help encourage a bit more BC activity.

Definitely. However, the status shouldn't be set according to whether someone paid to some american organization for centralized collection of registration fees but according to whether it's a place to freely exchange books.
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If these places are too small, hidden at a place where hardly anyone comes along, or inaccessible for lack of opening hours, they don't serve their purpose


My LFL is small. It holds 25 to 40 books. it's on a residential street. It has about one to two visitors a day. I constantly change the inventory. People take books and bring books. Now, it seems that more people are leaving books than taking them. The books they leave are no trash. They are new, exciting, desirable books! My LFL has its own Facebook page and these people follow the FB page as well as the Bookcrossing inventory. It's open 24 hours a day every day of the year. It can be used at night because it has it's own tap light.

My point is this: It doesn't matter that my LFL is small. It's used as a (O or U) BookCrossing Zone, Little Free Library, or simply a free book exchange. Call it what you want. It's listed here on BookCrossing as well as on LibraryThing so it can be found.

Bottom line: It's not the size of the book shelf. It's the person/group who maintains it and advertises it that's more important.
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If these places are too small, hidden at a place where hardly anyone comes along, or inaccessible for lack of opening hours, they don't serve their purpose

My LFL is small. It holds 25 to 40 books. it's on a residential street. It has about one to two visitors a day. I constantly change the inventory.

Now, to the other end of the range: The city council of Hannover (Germany) has been one of the pioneers of public bookshelves in Germany. They placed and maintain about 33 of them in the city, some already since 2006. Visit one of those in the city centre. Be prepared you might need to queue because only 4-6 people can really use them at the same time. The inventory constantly changes itself - go there in the morning, come back in the evening and most of the content has been swapped.

Most public bookshelves in Germany are put up and maintained by local initiatives working together with the city council. They are often even government funded and usually located at public places like city parks, central pedestrian areas or village squares. The idea has really gone viral recently. While only a few years ago there were only a few of them, now hardly a week goes by without new ones being added to the lists of known public bookshelves. However, the people putting up the shelves usually don't have non-locals in mind and often don't know that there even are online lists. So, the lists basically contain what some activists stumbled over by chance.

Lists for Germany are:
http://www.openbookcase.org
http://de.wikipedia.org/---/Liste_%C3%B6ffentlicher_B%C3%BCcherschr%C3%A4nke .

In a one hour bike range from my place, I currently know of ten rather large public bookshelves in 24/7 accessible public places, and I doubt I found them all. Two years ago, there were only three.

Those shelves don't only make for a great spot to leave and pick up books, they also are a good spot to encourage communication between citizens.
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Most public bookshelves in Germany are put up and maintained by local initiatives working together with the city council.


I'd love to have those here in the Washington, DC, area, but still I wouldn't want to give up my own Little Free Library. It's way too much fun because my husband built it, and it's mine!

ETA: I just counted the books in my own LFL...and there are 64 books currently in it!
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For people who've found a book at at LFL and hop over here it will be a easy way for them to find other LFLs, because from what I hear, the list on the LFL is not very up-to-date?

And in Europe, if there is a desinated logo used to mark these public bookshelves it would be lovely to have the logo appearing as well. i don't know, will it get too busy to have so many logos? Work wise, I don't think it's a lot for the website, if it's a matter of clicking a box to make a certain logo appear next to the name, but I'm not the web designer.

It's off the topic, but I've been using Waze for navigation while driving, and it shows me where the other Wazers are, and at times where gas stations, fast food joints are. I keep thinking that it would be so cool if I have an app that will show me where the LFLs, OBCZs and other public shelves are as we drive/walk around. I won't mind turning my avatar on to let other BCers know I'm nearby!! (oh it would be so fun driving to a BC meetup and see the cluster of BCers on the screen...)
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the list on the LFL is not very up-to-date?


Well, the problem is with the LFL map. It cannot add more information. There is an appendix which makes the information more up-to-date, but it's not perfect. They realize there is a problem, and they are working on it.

I keep thinking that it would be so cool if I have an app that will show me where the LFLs, OBCZs and other public shelves are as we drive/walk around.


Love the app idea...although I don't even own a smart phone! :)
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Re limited LFL listings: even if their map was up-to-date, it doesn't include LFLs for which the owners haven't ponied-up the registration fee. I've been using LibraryThing's "Little Libraries" search, which - while it's not a complete listing either, being updated at the discretion of LibraryThing members - has shown me quite a few LFLs that weren't on the LFL-site listing, and includes some OBCZs as well, along with other book-swap sites. [And local libraries, some of which have ongoing book-sales, which for me is yet another good release spot - not to mention the opportunities to buy some books {wry grin}.] And it's map-based, so you get the "within X miles" feature.
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Re limited LFL listings: even if their map was up-to-date, it doesn't include LFLs for which the owners haven't ponied-up the registration fee.

Which explains why my front yard bookshelf isn't a LFL.
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Re limited LFL listings: even if their map was up-to-date, it doesn't include LFLs for which the owners haven't ponied-up the registration fee.


Which explains why my front yard bookshelf isn't a LFL.


This is another example of why an LFL logo probably wouldn't work here at BC, but a general "other book exchange shelf" logo would.
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LibraryThing does have a mobile app called Readar that shows you the closest bookstores and libraries; I know they were intending to include Little Libraries on it but I don't know if it's been implemented yet.
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I know they were intending to include Little Libraries on it but I don't know if it's been implemented yet.


I don't know either because I don't have a smart phone so I don't follow the development of the apps.
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OFF topic

It's off the topic, but I've been using Waze for navigation while driving, and it shows me where the other Wazers are, and at times where gas stations, fast food joints are. I keep thinking that it would be so cool if I have an app that will show me where the LFLs, OBCZs and other public shelves are as we drive/walk around. I won't mind turning my avatar on to let other BCers know I'm nearby!! (oh it would be so fun driving to a BC meetup and see the cluster of BCers on the screen...)


Oh my gosh! How fun would that be? I actually "star" all of the known Little Free Libraries in town on my google maps, so if I'm navigating somewhere I can see if there's a LFL nearby to stop at, but your idea would be even cooler. Except, it seems like there aren't all that many BXers in San Diego, considering the size of our city. I haven't ever been to a meetup here!
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It's off the topic, but I've been using Waze for navigation while driving, and it shows me where the other Wazers are, and at times where gas stations, fast food joints are. I keep thinking that it would be so cool if I have an app that will show me where the LFLs, OBCZs and other public shelves are as we drive/walk around. I won't mind turning my avatar on to let other BCers know I'm nearby!! (oh it would be so fun driving to a BC meetup and see the cluster of BCers on the screen...)


Oh my gosh! How fun would that be? I actually "star" all of the known Little Free Libraries in town on my google maps, so if I'm navigating somewhere I can see if there's a LFL nearby to stop at, but your idea would be even cooler. Except, it seems like there aren't all that many BXers in San Diego, considering the size of our city. I haven't ever been to a meetup here!

That would be AMAZING! Even though it wouldn't do me much good in my state, since I am the only active BCer here, there are sadly no LFLs, and no one has released a book here (though I am hoping to change that this weekend with my first wild release :) ) , it would be WONNDERFUL for when I am traveling to an area with LFLs. I will definetely post something about this in the Feature Requests forum.
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there are sadly no LFLs


FWIW, I just checked the Little Free Library map - and found a couple of listings in or near San Juan. The map-page is here ( https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/ ), and by selecting the "country" view and entering "Puerto Rico" I saw two, one at La Placita De Los Robles in San Juan and one in the Parque de Torrimar, Guaynabo. (I think they were both from 2015, so there's a chance they are no longer active, but if those locations are easy to get to, you could check 'em out. If they *are* still there, you could release books to them and create release zones for them in the process!)
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If others want this for themselves, all they have to do is enter the information one time and it remains permanently on LT Local. Just sayin'.


Yeah, I just mentioned LibraryThing in a later reply; I do like that feature, and since LT already has that capability it makes more sense to use that than pipedream about something on BC. But the improved-visibility book-swap-shelf logo on our hunting pages would be using existing code, so it wouldn't be nearly as much work as all those other things I was blathering on about!
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But the improved-visibility book-swap-shelf logo on our hunting pages would be using existing code, so it wouldn't be nearly as much work as all those other things I was blathering on about!


I think that others are simply saying that BookCrossing should not be overwhelmed with logos of other institutions/ organizations. I kind of agree with that myself.
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But the improved-visibility book-swap-shelf logo on our hunting pages would be using existing code, so it wouldn't be nearly as much work as all those other things I was blathering on about!


I think that others are simply saying that BookCrossing should not be overwhelmed with logos of other institutions/ organizations. I kind of agree with that myself.


It doesn't have to be lots-of-different-logos, just one that's different from the OBCZ one so as to indicate "other book-swap shelf". (I know I originally referred to an LFL logo, but even then I was thinking more along the lines of just "not necessarily a BookCrossing-specific swap-shelf".)
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It doesn't have to be lots-of-different-logos, just one that's different from the OBCZ one so as to indicate "other book-swap shelf".


That might be a good idea. In other words, the "other" logo would indicate a somewhat protected environment for wild releases. Even "shy" Bookcrosssers" should look for these! :)
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I just read through this entire thread and have been digesting the multitudes of opinions and thought I would offer my two cents on the matter.

While I totally understand people not wanting to pay the $25 fee to register on the Little Free Library website or support the branding of a concept that already existed, one of the reasons I really like LFL is that they are giving visibility to the concept. Their map and appendix also give me a way to find more of these little book exchanges that I normally wouldn't be able to find on my own (I tend to take the same route to/from work, the store, etc).

While I still like wild releasing, these little libraries give me a safe dry place to leave books during the rainy months, as well as an easy place for people to find the BX books I leave there (leaving them inside stores or at parks, sometimes they get moved around which is fine for a person who happens upon them but makes it hard for a BXer who is actually hunting for the book).

I, personally, am far more likely to go hunting for a BX book if I think it's likely it will still be there by the time I arrive (which would be the day after I receive the alert) so for me, the likelihood of that is much higher with a little library (even the ones with a lot of traffic), as opposed to, say, a book that got left on a bus stop bench the night before. Another plus: little libraries are open 24/7 which is great for someone like me!

I register the locations I have visisted on Library Thing and waymarking but their lists aren't comprehensive either, which means there are currently three different websites/maps for book exchanges, none of which lists everything.

Of the 34 little libraries in Berkeley proper that I have visisted, about 40% of them are official Little Free Libraries located on the LFL map. About 20% of them have official LFL numbers but they have chosen not to be listed on the LFL map. The remaining 40% are unofficial little libraries with no LFL number.

As a result of the LFL google map exceeding the maximum 10,000 pins (!) and the fact that not all the libraries I have found are official LFLs, I ended up creating my own google map for the area where I live. I just want to make it easier for people around here to find the many places where they can browse for books.

I think the tininess is part of their charm. I can quickly look inside and see if there is a book that I want and be done in less than a minute. As much as I love going to bookstores with a huge selection, to me that's the kind of thing where I allow myself at least an hour to browse and wander. Little libraries, on the other hand, are places where I can stop on my way home and see if there's anything new I want to read. If not, maybe there will be something next week!
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I enjoyed reading your thoughts, silverstarry.

I felt it was worthwhile to pay the $35 fee for the Little Free Library registration because I like that I'm part of this brand. I also love that the signs are numbered so I can see where I stand in the life of this movement. I can tell by the numbers which LFLs are younger and which are older than mine. The money is also for the idea and to support the movement so it can grow.

I have almost totally stopped wild releasing since I can place my books in my LFL. There they are taken or not taken. The ones that are not taken go to the general public in a free book giveaway at a local book fair. I love that my LFL is an OBCZ. I've always wanted an OBCZ...and this one is so each to restock because it's on my front lawn. I play around with it just about daily.

I have found that some LFLs are not water-tight (mine is!), but be careful when you wild release to see about this issue.

My LFL is definitely open 24/7 because it has a tap light for dark nights. :)

LibraryThing would love to have a comprehensive list of LFLs but there is no way of them getting that unless this information is found and data entered by others. I have done basically what you have done. I've entered all the OBCZ and LFLs in my own area and around my own area in LibraryThing Local. If everyone everywhere did that, we'd get much better information.

I also did ask Tim Spalding of LibraryThing if we could have one week this year in which we could flash-mob data entry for LFLs. He liked this idea. Here's the LT thread:
http://www.librarything.com/---/183756




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I only just

Found this thread. I was pleading for a general BCZ/UBCZ logo on the feature request forum, because I think it is a pity that as a zone manager I'm not able/allowed to mark good BCZ with a logo, because there is no Official BookCrossing manager for the place. And it would be so nice to be able to find all possible used-by-multiple-people-crossingzones with the logo's.

I'm very happy to see a lot of people agree and I was not the only one thinking of this :-).
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/510896
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But I found a LFL near me (Surrey, England) and I think it's a wonderful place to drop off book, not had any catches yet but some of them have disappeared so I know they are being read. It's not a bad size either, it's like a shed been cut in half. Is there any global sites I can add it to a list?
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Is there any global sites I can add it to a list?


Absolutely. The LibraryThing Local. First check that it is not already listed, then list away...this one and others that you find!

Check if it's already listed:
http://www.librarything.com/---/surrey%2C+england

Where to add it:
http://www.librarything.com/venue_edit.php

The "type" is Little Libraries. Add the charter number if it has one.

You can find other LFL at this website:
http://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/
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Is there any global sites I can add it to a list?


There's also this one: http://www.openbookcase.org/
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LFL

About a half a year ago I've did this catalog of LFL. Part of LFLs has been BC-zone before. And i've created new ones. Several of them begin work as BC-zones.
http://streetlibrary.ru/
Trere are 128 LFL now.
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RE: LFL

About a half a year ago...


Very nice!

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