Skip to main content

Little Free Libraries now open at Minneapolis police precincts

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Kids in Minneapolis who are looking for a good book to read this summer need only stop by their local police precinct, as the department officially opened up four Little Free Libraries Monday.

The small libraries – essentially free book exchanges – are located outside the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th precincts, according to police department spokesman Scott Seroka.

He said two more Little Free Libraries will be installed within the next couple of weeks – one at the Cedar Riverside Safety Center and the other in the Criminal Investigations office in City Hall.

The four Little Free Libraries are stocked with books primarily geared toward children and teenagers, Seroka said. Most of them were donated by Minneapolis Public Schools, but other community groups made donations as well.

The free library project is another in the Minneapolis Police Department's efforts to connect with community residents, especially children.

The Little Free Library book exchange movement began five years ago in Hudson, Wisconsin, and has become incredibly popular across the globe.

The concept is simple: Neighborhoods or individuals set up the little house-shaped boxes along their street and fill them with books. People can then take a book to read and perhaps leave a book of their own.

Now police departments around the country are building these small book houses, hoping it will give residents a reason to talk to police when they're not involved in an emergency situation.

Police Chief Janeé Harteau said kids often interact with police only when something sad or scary has happened, according to the Star Tribune.

But books are a good conversation starter, she said, adding she hopes the Little Free Libraries will help residents and police get to know each other a little better.

Next Up


After long wait, storms eventually cancel Duran Duran concert

The newly inaugurated Rock 'N Roll Hall of Famers were kicking off their North America tour in Minnesota.

ITT Tech

Student loans cancelled for 1,380 Minnesota ITT Tech students

President Joe Biden moved to cancel the federal debt this week.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 2.17.19 PM

Twine kills 2 young ospreys in Long Lake, Minnesota

One bird was found hanging by its leg from the nest.

Mindy Kiepe

5 Great Danes kill owner on northwest Iowa farm

The dogs were euthanized after the incident.

Becker Public Schools

School district sued by teachers' union over staff 'gag order'

The district has faced heightened scrutiny for months now.

Andrew Luger, former U.S. Attorney of Minnesota

After dozens of arrests, concern over rising 'militaristic' weapons on MN streets

The U.S. Attorney provided an update on the violent crime strategy in collaboration with federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 1.31.41 PM

Outrage after ‘vote with bullets’ remarks from GOP Senate candidate

The candidate's comments were recently brought to light in a video recording.

State Patrol

2 killed after driver crosses center line near Silver Lake

A toddler in the vehicle survived the crash.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 4.12.14 PM

The answer to winter woes: St. Paul's upcoming Palm Springs-style supper club

Take a first look at inside the menu at The Apostle Supper Club.


Minneapolis parks are getting 50 new Little Free Libraries

To celebrate, there will also be an all-day read-a-thon.

Minneapolis cops build Little Free Libraries – and keep a couple in squad cars

Minneapolis officers will have Little Free Libraries in squad cars.

'Little Free Libraries' spread through Minnesota

Little libraries no bigger than a mailbox are catching on in neighborhoods across the state. "It's take a book and return a book," Todd Bol of Hudson tells KSTP. Bol started the trend and says he hopes to build more libraries than Andrew Carnegie did.