Have you heard about Little Free Library?
I’d seen mentions of them pop up on Instagram over the past few years, and then last fall, when I was going for a run in Bart’s parents neighborhood, I saw my first one in person.
It was so exciting! I stopped and peeked inside and loved seeing what books made up this little free library for the community.
Then, a few weeks ago, when we were strolling through our neighborhood, I spotted this darling pink and yellow little library along the path.
One of the Little Free Library locations was in my own neighborhood!
I was basically beside myself with joy.
If you’re not familiar with Little Free Library, it’s a non-profit organization that aims to provide books for all people, regardless of their income, interests or age. Not only that, but they also want to help bring communities together and act as a mini-town square, which I absolutely love.
The Little Free Library model is basically “take a book, return a book” where you can take whatever books you want out and then either return the same one when you’re done or add a new book to the free library collection.
This little video gives you a quick 30-second overview of the program:
Is there a Little Free Library Near Me?
With more than 60,000 Little Free Library locations worldwide (in more than 80 countries!), odds are good that there are Little Free Library locations near you! You can look at the Little Free Library Map here and it’ll show you exactly where the nearest one is.
And if there AREN’T any Little Free Library Locations near you, you can start your own!
You can either buy a kit directly from them (although they’re fairly pricey – between $250 and $340, plus an additional $65 for a post) or you can just make your own (there are Little Free Library plans available here) and then register it for $39.
Then you get an official plaque with your charter number on it and it’s added to the network.
Of course, a free library (or any library) is only as good as the books it has available, so I’ve taken it upon myself to help a little to keep it stocked.
One of the things about my job is that I get a LOT of books. And it’s just not practical for us to keep them all (we have a sizable amount of bookshelves in our home, but even so, we couldn’t possibly house all the books that come into our house).
Now that I know about the Little Free Library near me, I’ve started setting aside books I’ve finished reading but don’t necessarily need to keep in my personal collection or duplicate books we’ve received and every few weeks, we take them over to our Little Free Library so other families in our community can enjoy them.
I love that, instead of languishing on our bookshelves or sitting a massive stack in my office corner, other people can pick them up and read them.
Mostly, though, I just love that the Little Free Library program exists. What could be better than free books for anyone who wants them?
If you liked this post about Little Free Libraries, you might also enjoy:
- How to Build Your Home Library on a Budget
- Where to find good book recommendations for your child
- 6 Tips for visiting the library with children
I LOVE Little Free Libraries! There’s one in a park near me and it’s become my favorite park for that reason. I try to always bring a book to read at the park, but if I forget my book, I just grab one out of there to read. There’s something about a small selection that helps my decision fatigue and I end up reading books that I’d never choose from the public library but are usually surprisingly good!
Those are all over Spokane and I’m so glad to hear that there are some in AZ! I never saw them there growing up and it’s such a great service!
This is so fun! I was on a group run a few weeks ago and there was a free little library in the park we were running through. I’m sad that I didn’t get to stop and look (since it likely would have been frowned upon haha), but I’m excited to take the kids back and look at the selection!
Kate @ Mom's Radius / Opinionated Book Lover says
So fun! I’ve found several within driving distance of my house, and I also use them to share the wealth of my ARCs and review copies. I put stickers with my blog info in them, so they’re kind of a marketing bit as well. I wrote about it here: http://opinionatedbooklover.com/marketing-via-little-free-libraries/
Janssen Bradshaw says
Um, THAT is brilliant!
We are lucky to have several in our neighborhood. And, even better, one at the elementary school. One of the graduating classes raised money and installed one right out front. Love these.
Janssen Bradshaw says
Oh, I love that!
What a cool idea! I just looked to see if there were any in the UK and no such luck 🙁
I desperately want to put a Little Free Library on our front lawn but I am kind of torn…I don’t necessarily want strangers hanging out there all the time, but I want to spread book love…we also live up the street from a high school so that could be a good thing OR a bad thing. haha. I love the concept so much though!
Michelle Holt says
We have on in our front yard. My mom’s husband built it for me a few years ago. I love to fill it and watch books go out.
Okay you’re freaking me out. I’m in talks with my HOA about installing a LFL in our neighborhood! I present at their next board meeting. I’m hoping to use an old dollhouse.
These are signs we need to get together!!
Janssen Bradshaw says
You are so cool! I’ll bring some books to help stock it!
There are now well over 100,000 worldwide. One of them is in our front yard! 🙂
Putting one up today!
I LOVE LFLs! I signed up for their steward email newsletter even though I don’t have one yet. Sometimes they have book giveaways! I have worked to get my kids’ school’s PTO to purchase one (I’m the president ;D ) and we are planning to install one in the spring. I’m so excited for it! The fully finished ones are exactly what we need, because we don’t have enough people to make or paint one. We got really lucky and one of their few finished colors is our school’s color.