Build a Little Library
Learn from Do-It-Yourselfers and professionals — what works, how to keep out the rain, what tools to use, and creative designs. Be a part of the Neighborhood Library Builders Guild group on Facebook. You can be a link with woodworkers, Friends of Libraries, service clubs, youth groups and others who care about reading.
Are there rules about my Library’s design?
All we ask is that each Library that you build has an official charter sign and number on it; to receive a charter sign and number, fill out a Make It Official form. You are welcome to list the name of any builders, sponsors or related organizations on your Library. We have no rules about what your Library may or may not look like…but your city or home owner’s association may. Be sure you have the appropriate permissions before installing your Library (more on this topic here).
To protect the Little Free Library name and quality of the Libraries themselves, the name is registered and trademarked. Make sure you read these terms before using the Little Free Library name.
Only Libraries with official charter signs and numbers can be photographed and displayed as part of the Little Free Library network. This is the only way we can track, monitor, support, fund and celebrate your efforts. Click here to see the agreement.
How to Build and Install Your Own
Have you built one? Want to learn how? Thousands of people have used these tips and tricks and blueprints and measurements for builders that we created just for you. We also have a variety of plans and instructions available:
- A video guide to building a door counter and Library – courtesy of Ben Heck and Newark/Element 14
- Creative, easy ways to build a Library on a tight budget – Little Free Library blog
- A YouTube tutorial to build a full-size Tardis – courtesy of Steve Ramsey
- Plans and instructions to build an Amish Shed Library – Little Free Library
- Red Schoolhouse Library – video by The Neighborhood Carpenter.
- Vermont Covered Bridge Library – Alan Baker via Instructables
- Slightly modified version of our Library plans above – Hannah Lane-Davies of Kalamazoo, MI.
- Red Schoolhouse Library – Michael Hall in Lents, OR
- A visual guide to building a Little Free Library – Samantha Garvey in Johnson Creek, WI.
- Step-by-step instructions to build a unique Little Free Library designed by Dale Melenberg of Calgary.
- Library installation instructions
Tips for Builders
Our first Little Libraries were roughly 20” wide by 15” deep by 18” high and on a sturdy post or secure foundation. You most certainly can vary the dimensions as you see appropriate.
1)Use recycled and found materials if you can.
2)Demonstrate green building techniques and materials whenever possible.
3)Build and finish the Library to last. Use screws rather than nails, and several coats of stain, paint or sealer.
4) If you have built your Library and are experiencing common problems like condensation forming inside the Library, leaks or paint fading, check out our FAQs for tips.
One Last Thing
Don’t be limited to building the same thing everyone else does. Check out the Neighborhood Library Builders Guild Facebook page and ask for advice. Look over our Pinterest and Flickr pages for inspiration. See what others have built and know that no matter how skilled or amateur you think you are, there’s someone out there just like you. Use your imagination! Finally, once your Library has been built, save the plans and document how you built it. Then Contact Us so that we can share your learning experience with the rest of the Little Free Library community.