Plans and Tips For Library Builders

Learn from Our Library Building Mistakes

After building thousands of libraries, we’ve learned what makes a long-lasting, weather-resistant library. Sign up below to get our checklist of 10 common building mistakes (and how to avoid them)! 

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Little Free Library Plans and Blueprints

Need some design inspiration? Start by downloading the Little Free Library mobile app or searching our web map and checking out the photos of other Little Free Libraries in your area and around the world!

We also invite you to download and use any of the FREE library plans and blueprints below. Looking for library installation instructions? Learn how to install a Little Free Library on a wooden post.

Get the Must-Have Guide for Little Free Library Builders

This is your complete source for Little Free Library designs, including plans for 12 different structures, step-by-step photography and instructions, inspirational examples, and maintenance.

Illustrated throughout with colorful step-by-step photography and a gallery of tiny structures for further inspiration, Little Free Libraries and Tiny Sheds covers every step: planning and design, tools and building techniques, best materials, and 12 complete plans for structures of varying size and aesthetics. In addition, author and professional carpenter Phil Schmidt includes information on proper installation of small structures and common repairs and maintenance for down the road.

How to Assemble a One Story Amish Shed Kit

Did you know? One easy way to build a Little Free Library (or several!) is to purchase a Little Free Library Kit from our online store.  Library Kits can be assembled in just a few hours following the video instructions above.

How to Pick a Good Spot and Install a Little Free Library

Where can you put a Little Free Library? How do you install it? The 5-minute video above answers how to pick a good spot, who to ask for permission, and how to install your library. (Skip to minute 3:45 if you want to get straight to the installation part.)

Are There Rules about My Library’s Design?

If you build one or more book-sharing boxes, please register by purchasing a charter sign for each one. That way, we can welcome you to the Little Free Library worldwide network and you can legally use the name Little Free Library. There is a one-time cost of about $40 to purchase a charter sign. Click here to register by purchasing a charter sign. 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 government or Home Owner’s Association 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.

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!

Additional 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. We’ve since increased the size of a basic library to 22″ wide x 18″ deep. You most certainly can vary the dimensions as you see appropriate. Many stewards wish they had built a bigger library with more space for books. Remember that many childrens’ books are extra tall or wide and don’t fit on standard shelves. When it doubt, build it slightly bigger than you think you should.

  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 or paint.
  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.

Don’t be limited to building the same thing everyone else does. Look over our Instagram and Pinterest pages for inspiration!


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