Start a Little Free Library Program in Your Community
In the last year, Little Free Library provided 36 free Little Free Libraries to U.S. Native American communities. Please note that the application is currently closed, though more Libraries may become available in the future. Learn more about applicant requirements.
On this page:
- Special opportunities for Native American communities
- Get insight from the Window Rock, AZ experience
- Discover the benefits of a book-sharing program
- Learn how to save 10% when you order four or more book exchanges
- Sign up for news from Little Free Library
After working with dozens of service groups and organizations, we created this Quick Start Guide for Community Groups. In the guide, we answer common questions about Library costs, how to get support for a Little Free Library project, and more!
Special Opportunities for Native American Communities
This past fall we were thrilled to offer Native American communities, at no cost, 36 Little Libraries complete with installation materials and books. This opportunity was made possible by Amerigroup, an Anthem company. All 36 recipients have been identified and the application is currently closed.
Little Free Library is working to provide additional programming with our ATALM partners. We look forward to sharing details about those opportunities in the near future.
Insights from Window Rock, Arizona
The following notes summarize advice received from Duane Yazzie, a teacher-librarian who set up the Navajo Nation’s first official Little Free Library.
1. Put a Team Together
“Part of our success is founded upon ensuring that we have partners in this initiative, and we are not doing this alone.” Yazzie partnered with local businesses and service organizations to strengthen their efforts. Civic leaders and dignitaries participated in the grand opening.
2. Be Patient and Creative in Overcoming Challenges
“Be prepared to exercise patience and understanding, especially when entering into formal agreements.” Getting approvals took Yazzie longer than expected. And something as seemingly simple as printing out a colored document can be daunting when tools and supplies aren’t immediately available.
3. Keep Everyone Informed
“Talking about the LFL project with anyone and everyone has helped to both create interest and support.” Yazzie used every channel available, from face-to-face interactions to social media and local media. He also made presentations whenever there was an opportunity. “People get excited when you share your enthusiasm about the project.”
Yazzie also found that all the writing they did about the project helped to prepare them for letter-writing campaigns to community stakeholders and to answer questions they received about the project.
4. Ask for Help and Say Thank-you
“People are usually willing to help, but you’ve got to ask.” Ask for help—with book donations, maintenance, events, and other needs. And then make sure to honor what people are giving by expressing your appreciation.
Four Benefits of a Little Free Library Book-Sharing Program
1. Supporting Literacy: Little Free Library book-sharing boxes improve book access and thus help tackle low literacy rates. By providing books all year ’round, they can mitigate the “summer slide” where kids’ reading skills slip. And 24-hour availability makes it possible for kids and working parents to share books at times that are convenient.
2. Demonstrating a Reading Lifestyle: A book-sharing box populated with books for all ages on a variety of subjects will attract patrons from different parts of the community. Participation by such a range of users, from little kids to seniors, shows budding readers the value our culture places on books and encourages good reading habits.
3. Forging Partnerships with Parents: When schools, community groups and parents work together, the outcomes can be powerful. Parents can be important advocates, and they can play a critical role in the funding, implementation, and maintenance of a Little Free Library book-sharing network.
4. Establishing New Avenues of Community Service: Little Free Library book-sharing boxes are a way for groups and individuals to engage with their communities. Volunteers and service groups can assemble kits and maintain book supplies for locations where books are few. A Little Free Library program can attract new partnerships with community groups and demonstrate a heightened commitment to the neighborhoods served.
When you buy four or more book exchanges (pre-built Libraries, Kits and Totes) enjoy a 10% discount! If a current promotion offers lower pricing, the lower pricing will prevail. This discount applies to all book exchanges in our online store. It is available to Native American communities only. Book exchanges must all be one style and ship to a single location.
To take advantage of this pricing, please fill out this form to request an estimate or invoice, and also get the 10% discount on your purchase of four or more Libraries. You may order directly from our online store if you’d like to purchase three or fewer Libraries.
Or contact Kimberly at customerservice(at)littlefreelibrary.org, and she will answer any questions you may have.