One way of promoting Esperanto is through Little Free Libraries. Most likely there are some near you. Check out the Little Free Library Map to find them.
Our local group decided to put 100 copies of the Esperanto Mini-Course in free libraries in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. It has been a fun activity driving around to find libraries, walking to close-by neighborhoods to combine exercise with locating a library, and even getting help from non-Esperanto-speaking family members.
Why the Esperanto Mini-Course? We wanted a low-cost book, and most of the small books we considered are out of print. So, we ordered 100 copies from the Esperanto Association of Britain. At this point you are probably wondering how much it cost and where we got the money. With shipping, the booklets cost a little over $1 a copy. Three of us (Murray Merner, Tim Gee and Chuck Mays) pooled our resources to purchase the booklets.
Before putting the booklets in the libraries, we added a printed label to the front cover with links to more information about Esperanto and with a QR code to a web page. The page recommends esperanto.net as a place to find more information and has a link to an anonymous and voluntary survey that asks a few questions like: “Did you know about Esperanto before borrowing the booklet?” You can see the page on our website.
What do we expect from this project? If one person learns Esperanto and becomes an active member of our local Esperanto community, it will have been well worth the effort. We realize that not all local groups, and certainly someone alone, might not be able to finance a project like this. So, it seems reasonable to request financial support from Esperanto-USA. After all, promoting Esperanto is a main purpose of the organization.
We don’t yet know the results of putting 100 booklets in little free libraries other than to report that when we have checked libraries a few days later, the booklet is gone! We will report more as we get survey results.
Chuck has offered to write further informado columns with similar ideas for promoting Esperanto. Please contact him at the email address below with reports of what you’ve done to promote the language. Please include pictures, descriptions of your successes and failures, and even ideas you haven’t tried yet.