It's a little free library, and it is in someone's front yard in Oregon City! This photo came from a news article in the local paper, and ever since I saw it, I knew that I wanted one of these in my yard, too.
The idea is that you make a little "house" in your yard, next to the sidewalk. You attach a sign that says "Little Free Library," and you fill it with books for others to check out. People walking by your house can "check out" a book. They don't have to have a library card or anything. They don't even have to sign for it. They can read it and then bring it back, or they can replace it with another book. It's just a neighborhood way to share books.
When I googled Little Libraries, I got tons of hits. Here is the home organization. If you google Little Libraries, you will find lots of news articles about the libraries, and how they are helping people to be more neighborly. Uh, and read.
You can register your little library at the website, and then people on vacation in your city--that would be people who are really into these libraries--will stop by your library when they're in town.
Here are some more photos of these cool little libraries. There are tons of photos on the website. These are just a few of my favorites.
Maybe I can get Mr. Haynie to build a little library for Laurel Lane. What do you think?