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Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Email: mrodriguez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mrodriguezwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Nikki Leali could very well be the youngest librarian ever.

'If you put a book in, make sure you put it in the right section,' said Leali, who is 7 years old.

She is also in charge of what might be one of the smallest libraries ever.

'I kind of like that it's free,' Leali said.

She is the official steward of the 'Little Free Library,' at the corner of Louisiana Avenue and Coliseum Street.

'I think this is just such a great location for it with the traffic that comes off the streetcar and also the locals come by, they know the library is here,' said Joelle Leali, Nikki's mother.

It is a unique concept: little wooden houses, brightly decorated and stocked with books. Anyone can walk up, take one out or drop one off -- all on the honor system.

The idea started in Wisconsin and spread across the country to right here in New Orleans. In fact, it's gone global. There are more than 3,000 now set up around the world.

Todd Bol co-founded the non-profit 'Little Free Library' three years ago in Wisconsin.

'I built it in honor of my mom who was a lover books and a teacher,' he said.

One day, Bol held a garage sale. Everyone who came by seemed enthralled by the Little Free Library. So, he built another. Soon, others joined in and the idea took on a life of its own.

'Once people understand it's for them, and it's an exchange and it's free books. The whole neighborhood steps up and starts to take charge of it,' he said.

It also helps bind neighborhoods together, which something the Leali family sees first-hand.

'Actually, I've gotten to know a lot of my neighbors because of it, people I never would have known before,' Joelle Leali said.

That leaves one of the Little Free Library's stewards quite pleased.

'It's just really cool,' Nikki Leali said.

An additional four more little free libraries will be installed around New Orleans. They will be set up at several of the city's library's soliciting ideas of where to place them in the city. For more information about the Little Free Library, click here.

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