Celebrating 10 Years of Little Free Libraries

Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the first Little Free Library! To celebrate a decade of Little Free Libraries and the volunteer stewards who bring them to life, we offered exciting events, awards, and giveaways throughout 2019.

Though we celebrated this milestone all year long, we planned some special events for May. May 17 is our nonprofit birthday and in 2019 it officially marked 10 years of Little Free Libraries. During that month, we announced the winners of the first-ever Todd H. Bol Awards for Outstanding Achievement! The 10 winners were all exceptional Little Free Library stewards, learn more about them here. In addition, we provided 10 no-cost Little Free Libraries through our Impact Library Program to underserved communities around the U.S.

Perhaps our biggest celebration in May was THE BIG SHARE, which was a worldwide event that took place May 17-19, 2019. During THE BIG SHARE, we invited book-lovers everywhere to share a book in a Little Free Library, then post a photo to social media with #LFL10. Thousands of Little Free Library stewards and friends took part in the event, sharing books in Libraries in Qatar, Indonesia, Germany, Italy, and around the U.S. See photos from THE BIG SHARE!

Highlights from Our 10th Anniversary Celebration

Special Giveaways of Books and More

We gave away books and Little Free Library swag every month in 2019, and registered stewards who entered giveaways received additional surprise gifts. Book giveaways totaled more than $33,000 by year’s end!

Little Free Library House Parties

Our 10th Anniversary was a great opportunity for LFL stewards and fans to share their passion for little libraries by hosting a House Party Fundraiser! House Parties let you introduce the Little Free Library nonprofit to others and encourage them to donate to support our mission. See how easy it is to host a Little Free Library House Party!

The Big Share

May 17 is Little Free Library’s birthday, and in 2019 we celebrated with a special event: The Big Share! During the weekend of May 17, 2019, thousands of Little Free Library supporters and stewards came together for a worldwide celebration of books and community. From Qatar to Indonesia and around the U.S., book lovers everywhere shared books in Little Free Libraries, then posted photos of their visits to social media with #LFL10. See photos and learn more about the event. 

The First-Ever Todd H. Bol Awards for Outstanding Achievement

We were thrilled to announce the winners of the Todd H. Bol Awards for Outstanding Achievement! Named for our late founder, the awards honored ten Little Free Library volunteer stewards who made an exceptionally positive impact on their communities. “Little Free Library volunteer stewards are shining examples of the hope and compassion possible in this world!” said Monnie McMahon, Little Free Library national board chair.

10 Commemorative Little Free Libraries for Communities in Need

Our Impact Library Program provides no-cost Little Free Library book exchanges to communities that need them most. In May 2019, ten applicants received replicas of the First Little Free Library, which was designed to look like a one-room schoolhouse. Read about the recipients, which included a homeless shelter in California, a reservation in Wyoming, and a high-needs school in Georgia. Learn more about the Impact Library Program and how you can apply to receive a Library or how you can donate to help place Libraries in communities of need.

Why Celebrate 10 Years of Little Free Libraries?

At the Little Free Library nonprofit, we believe it’s important to remember where we came from and celebrate the thousands of volunteer stewards who helped grow this movement into what it is today. One man’s simple idea has grown into the world’s largest book-sharing movement!

In 2009 Todd H. Bol created the first Little Free Library book exchange and placed it in his Hudson, Wisconsin, front yard in tribute to his mother, who had been a teacher. Ten years later, his idea had snowballed into a worldwide book-sharing movement.

Because of this global book-sharing phenomenon, millions of books have been shared and thousands of neighbors have connected for the first time! The Little Free Library nonprofit organization is at the heart of this global movement to inspire a love of reading, build community, and spark creativity.

In 2019, we looked back with gratitude as we celebrated this milestone, and we remembered our founder Todd H. Bol, who said:

“I really believe in a Little Free Library on every block and a book in every hand. I believe people can fix their neighborhoods, fix their communities, develop systems of sharing, learn from each other, and see that they have a better place on this planet to live.”

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