May 28, 2022

Report and Journal Article: “Toronto’s Radical Librarians Critique Little Free Library”

From The Star:

Toronto’s radical librarians do not like the Little Free Library organization.

In a study published in the Journal of Radical Librarianship, which is real, Ryerson librarian Jane Schmidt and University of Toronto reference specialist Jordan Hale argue that the neighbourhood mini-libraries don’t live up to their stated goals.


“We posit that in absence of any research or evidence of an issue to be addressed . . . simply encouraging literacy in an already information-rich and privileged environment is hardly a heroic charitable act,” Schmidt and Hale wrote.

“We don’t have any issue with book swaps or exchanges,” Hale explained in an interview, adding she has obtained many excellent books that way. She is not, however, pro-Little Free Library, stating her issue is with the organization, not the idea.

Read the Complete Article

Full Text Journal Article

The complete article by Schmidt and Hale published in The Journal of Radical Librarianship, “Little Free Libraries® Interrogating the Impact Of the Branded Book Exchange” is available here (29 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.