Plans and Tips For Library Builders
Are There Rules about My Library’s design?
We ask that if you build one or more Libraries, please register each Library and get an official charter sign for each one. That way, you can legally use the name Little Free Library. There is a one-time registration fee of about $40 per Library. Click here to register. 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. However, your city or HOA may have rules. Be sure you have permission before installing your Library (more on this topic here).
To protect the Little Free Library name and quality of the Libraries themselves, the name Little Free Library and its common variations are trademarked. If you want to use the name Little Free Library, you must have an official charter sign and charter number on your Library. For more information, click here to view our Terms & Conditions.
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.
One easy way to build a Little Free Library (or several!) is to purchase an Amish Shed Kit or a Lakeside Kit. Whether you’re building a Library as a family project or your employer or service organization is participating in a large-scale build day, these kits make it easy to build Little Libraries in only a few hours. Both kits come with all the pieces you need to assemble a Little Library, step-by-step written instructions and the above video guide!
Neighborhood Library Builders Guild
Check out the Neighborhood Library Builders Guild Facebook page for tips and advice from fellow Library builders.
Install a Little Free Library
Step by step instructions to install your Little Free Library.
How to Build and Install Your Own
- Thousands of people have used these tips and tricks and blueprints and measurements for builders that we created just for you.
- Little Free Library instructions so simple even I could follow them – courtesy of James Zimmerman
- A modified Little Library design with a materials list – courtesy of Hannah Lane-Davies of Kalamazoo Little Free Libraries
- 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
- Step-by-step instructions to build a unique Little Free Library designed by Dale Melenberg of Calgary.
- Blueprints to build a modified Amish Shed Library – Adam Plavinskis of Ontario.
- Blueprints to build 10 unique Library designs – Architectural League of New York
- 3-D Print the Tiniest Little Free Library Ever – Free files on Thingverse by Colleen Jordan.
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.
- Use recycled and found materials if you can.
- Demonstrate green building techniques and materials whenever possible.
- Build and finish the Library to last. Use screws rather than nails, and several coats of stain, paint or sealer.
- 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.
Do not be limited to building the same thing everyone else does. 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.