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Todd Bol, creator of the Little Free Library movement, dies at 62

Todd Bol hammered together the first Little Free Library. Then he built a movement around it. “Todd Bol believed the now-ubiquitous little boxes of books — and the neighbors who cared for them — could change a block, a city, the world. So he brought them to front yards all over, often installing them himself. Known for his wild optimism and keen business sense, the Little Free Library founder died Thursday morning, just weeks after he was found to have pancreatic cancer. He was 62. “He was always looking at how the world could be a better place and believed that people were really how to achieve that,” said Margret Aldrich, who wrote 2015’s “The Little Free Library Book.” Using wood from his old garage door, Bol fashioned the first library-on-a-stick in 2009 on his deck in Hudson, Wis. It was a tribute to his mom, June Bol, who was always welcoming kids to their Stillwater kitchen table for a sandwich or help with homework. “It was a spiritual gesture,” Bol explained in 2013. At a garage sale in 2010, his neighbors cooed. So he built a few more boxes, selling one and giving away a few dozen more. Bol set a goal of 2,150 — to beat the number of Carnegie Libraries in the country. Less than a decade later, more than 75,000 dollhouse-size libraries have sprouted on front lawns in 88 countries. “I want to see a Little Free Library on every block and a book in every hand,” Bol said. Bol was diagnosed this month with pancreatic cancer and, after a single round of chemotherapy, peritoneal cancer. When he moved into hospice care, Little Free Library — the nonprofit that he founded and ran as executive director — alerted its “stewards,” the tens of thousands of people who care for the little libraries…”

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