Little Free Libraries: Nice People, Cool Designs, More Important Than Ever

Does your community have a Little Free Library?

Little Free Libraries come in all shapes and sizes as communities get creative with their designs.

Little Free Libraries began as a way to build community and provide free books to all people. It has since become a global sensation, with 150,000 registered libraries based in 115 countries. Little Free Libraries are accessible, affordable, and sustainable community assets that are more important than ever. The nonprofit organization ensures that these libraries increase access, equity, collaboration, transparency, and respect for communities worldwide. 

What Are Little Free Libraries? 

Little Free Libraries began as a nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota. It encourages community members to build their own libraries with a selection of books anyone can borrow. According to its website, Little Free Library’s mission is to “be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all.” 

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How Does it Work?

Little Free Libraries work as an honor system that allows people to take as few or as many books as they’d like. There’s also no limit on how many books can be added to the library as long as there are enough for people to use at their convenience. Little Free Libraries are typically managed by a primary caretaker known as a Little Free Library steward. These people are in charge of maintaining the library and keeping it clean while community members keep it stocked with books. 

How to Establish a Little Free Library

If you’re interested in starting your own Little Free Library, the process is relatively simple. The first thing you need to do is register your Little Free Library. The organization will proceed to provide blueprints to help you construct the library. Once you’ve selected your library location, you can begin the construction process. 

Come up with a creative design that matches your library’s theme, age group, or community. Construct your library to withstand all elements, and consider adding convenient touches like motion sensor lights or instructions on how to use the library. Once you’ve created your library, stock it up with books for a wide variety of ages and genre interests.

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