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World Todd Bol, founder of Little Free Library book sharing, dead at 62

In this Dec. 6, 2012 file photo, Todd Bol poses with a Little Free Library lending boxes in Hudson, Wis.

Jim Mone/The Associated Press

The Wisconsin man who founded Little Free Library, a project that now sets up boxes for sharing books around the world, has died. Todd Bol was 62.

A spokesperson for Little Free Library says Mr. Bol died Thursday in a Minnesota hospice of complications from pancreatic cancer.

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Mr. Bol designed and built the first Little Free Library at his home in Hudson, Wis., in 2009 as a tribute to his mother, who was a teacher and book lover. Mr. Bol put up a miniature version of a one-room schoolhouse on a post outside his home, filled it with books and invited neighbours to borrow them.

The boxes have since popped up across North America and spread to more than 80 countries, with more than 75,000 registered Little Free Libraries worldwide. The whimsical boxes invite passers-by to “take a book, share a book.”

A statement on the Little Free Library website said Mr. Bol was heartened by the global proliferation of Little Free Libraries and the contributions they make to literacy and community. “Todd spent much of the last decade working towards his vision of a world where neighbors know each other by name, and everyone has access to books," the statement said.

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