Man creates 'free library' outside his house

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) A new kind of library is popping up across the Lowcountry and it is tiny.

These libraries are a little different in that they are the size of a large bird house or doll house. Nearly a year ago, Fred Herrmann of Logan Street, built one and it's getting a lot of attention.

"I did it because I had a lot books to get rid of basically," he said. "I wanted to make it look as much as my house as I could."

His wooden box has made him a popular stop with tourists.

"It's amazing how many people come up and thank me profusely as though I've done something," he said. "People leave notes. Most of them are nice. Some of them are a little creepy."

His neighbors appear to like it, too.

"We swap out books as well, so it's great," said neighbor, Scott Harrelson. "People are funny. They're hesitant to take a book and you have to go 'just go ahead take one.' Well, I don't have one to leave.' 'It's okay. Just take one.'"

Herrmann estimates that about 100{} books a month come and go from his outdoor "library."

"Oddly enough, kids books go fast," he said. "There's only been in a year, five books that I've had to pull out. A couple of them were left wing political books."

Outside of his home, you can take a book free of charge or leave one you no longer want.

"It's just a way to get more books back into circulation," he said.

As long as people seem to enjoy the little box, he says he'll keep it around.

"It's been so fun," he said.

Herrmann said he got the idea of building his little library after reading an article in his alumni magazine from the University of Wisconsin. The article contained a story about this website.

Currently, there are five other locations with similar "libraries" in South Carolina.

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