Little Free LibraryThis Little Free Library is located in Maine. (Photo: Paul VanDerWerf/Flickr)

Have you noticed a cute miniature library like the one above pop up in your neighborhood recently? You may or may not know that these adorable Little Free Libraries are part of a larger social movement that got its start in 2009 after a collaboration between a pair of Wisconsin-based DIY do-gooders and reading enthusiasts.

The movement takes a page from the vision of 19th century industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who spearheaded a push to build free public libraries all across America at the turn of the century.

After surpassing their original goal of erecting 2,509 libraries (the same number that Carnegie built during his philanthropic public library spree), the trend continues to balloon in size. As of 2014, there are more than 15,000 (and counting!) of these dimunitive book nooks in at least 15 countries.

At its root, creating one of these amazing libraries is simple. Simply build (or upcycle!) a water-tight structure, place it in a publicly accessible location, add a few of books you'd like to rehome and then watch the books fly off (and back on) the shelves. To ensure the library is always stocked, a "take a book, leave a book" honor system is encouraged.

Of course, there are plenty of custodians who go above and beyond to make their tiny pop-up libraries stand out. After all, these structures aren't just about education — they're also about community and the arts! Here are just a few ultra-creative library designs that might inspire you to pick up a book.

#littlefreelibrary in a tree! #feedyourmind #lovemore #explore

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#Littlefreelibrary #Dr.whotardislittlelibrary

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That's a #LittleFreeLibrary?!?! Cc: @lindsnola

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Book sharing in paradise :) #LittleFreeLibrary #givebooks

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Just donated some of my old books to this #littlefreelibrary in my neighborhood. #totesadorbs

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https://instagram.com/p/qovROnD8YM/

Can you imagine coming across this #LittleFreeLibrary?...

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We love everything about this picture! Thanks for the share, @melanelson. #LittleFreeLibrary

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"Reading is the KEY to imagination." #LittleFreeLibrary #WhimsicalWednesday

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Stunning! Cc: @chadculley #LittleFreeLibrary

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It's a pretty one :) #LittleFreeLibrary

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Wouldn't you love to stumble upon this #LittleFreeLibrary on your hike?! #givebooks

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That's a #WhimsicalWednesday #LittleFreeLibrary if we've ever seen one.

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A #LittleFreeLibrary on wheels. Where would you take it?

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"Now playing at your local #LittleFreeLibrary..." You fill in the blank!

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Well, doesn't this look nice right about now? #LittleFreeLibrary

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It's perfect. #LittleFreeLibrary | Redondo Beach, CA #9581

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R O B O T #LittleFreeLibrary #WhimsicalWednesday #8001

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How would you like to stumble upon this #LittleFreeLibrary on your hike? #WhimsicalWednesday #5017

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#littlefreelibrary #littlelibrary #cute #adorable #creative

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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.