Milestones and Awards

What started as a simple idea became a global literacy movement. The first Little Free Library book-sharing box was built in 2009 in Hudson, Wisconsin. There are now more than 150,000 registered, volunteer-led Little Free Libraries around the world. That includes 50 states, 120 countries, and all seven continents. More than 300 million books have been shared by thousands of neighbors.

Our Impact Library Program has granted more than 1,500 Little Free Libraries at no cost to communities where they are needed most. Launched in 2020, our Read in Color initiative has reached 14 cities and distributed more than 40,000 diverse books celebrating BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized voices.

The Little Free Library nonprofit organization is at the heart of this phenomenon. Our growing network shares our mission to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all.

Todd H. Bol creates the first Little Free Library book-sharing box at his home in Hudson, Wisconsin

Little Free Library is officially established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

In August, the 2,510th Little Free Library is built, and the goal of surpassing the number of Andrew Carnegie’s free public libraries is reached

The National Book Foundation awards LFL an Innovations in Reading Prize

Library Journal presents LFL with a Movers and Shakers Award, highlighting the thought leaders in the library industry

The Little Free Library Book is released, chronicling the journey of LFL and stewards worldwide

In October, LFL is awarded the Library of Congress Literacy Award for its effective implementation of best practices in literacy and reading promotion

50,000 Little Free Libraries

LFL’s Impact Library Program launches, granting no-cost Libraries full of books to high need communities

LFL launches the Action Book Club, combining reading and community service

LFL receives Women’s National Book Association’s Second Century Prize

75,000 Little Free Libraries

LFL receives the Force for Positive Change Award

LFL partners with Disney and Marvel Studios to produce Avengers-themed Little Free Libraries

The Today Show unveils their Little Free Library at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in NYC

10 Years of Little Free Libraries

The first-ever Todd H. Bol Awards for Outstanding Achievement are awarded

A Little Free Library is unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

100,000 Little Free Libraries

LFL receives the World Literacy Award

A Little Free Library is established at the South Pole, expanding Little Free Libraries to all 7 continents

LFL launches Read in Color in the Twin Cities, a new initiative bringing diverse books to Little Free Library book-sharing boxes around the world

125,000 Little Free Libraries

LFL launches Unbound, a digital event series connecting stewards and supporters

The Impact Library Program grants its 1,500th no-cost Little Free Library

LFL rolls out Read in Color to nine additional cities

LFL network reaches milestone of sharing 250 million books

150,000 Little Free Libraries

LFL debuts its mobile app for iOS and Android, making it easy to find Little Free Library locations near you—wherever you are in the world

The LFL office relocates from Hudson, Wisconsin, to St. Paul, Minnesota

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