Apply to the Impact Library Program

Little Free Library provides free book exchanges where they can have a meaningful impact in the United States and Canada. Direct donations and sale revenues fund this program.

Serving an Indigenous community? We have a separate program with dedicated funds for those serving Indigenous communities. Apply to the Native Library Initiative.

Already have a book-sharing box? Apply for free or reduced-cost charter signs.

Looking for books? Check out book opportunities for existing stewards.

Goals of the Impact Library Program

  • Strengthen community ties
  • Inspire readers
  • Expand easy book access
  • Positively influence literacy outcomes
  • Make Little Free Libraries available in high-need areas

What to Know Before Applying

Click the arrow next to any section to reveal more information.

What does a steward do?

A Little Free Library steward is an individual or group of people who care for a Little Free Library. Basic steward responsibilities include:

  • Attaching the official Little Free Library charter sign to your library.
  • Setting up your steward account and adding your library to the map to make it easier to find.
  • Telling your community about this great new resource! Share your library opening on social media, in newsletters, and with your neighbors.
  • Keeping the library stocked with books.
  • Performing regular maintenance to keep the library in good condition. Keep the area neat by removing litter and weeds. Check for pests that might prevent visitors from using the library.  Weatherproof your library by caulking seams and adding weather-stripping if appropriate.
What is included?
  • A fully-assembled composite library (made with recycled plastic)
  • A charter sign (English, English-Spanish bilingual, or English-French bilingual)
  • A wooden post kit for installation (includes hardware and instructions)
  • A starter set of diverse books
  • A Steward’s Guide booklet
  • Paid shipping costs
Eligibility conditions
  • The library location and a physical shipping address must be in the United States or Canada.
  • The applicant must be 18 years or older.
  • The applicant must be a local person responsible for and with regular access to the library.
  • The applicant must have permission to apply on behalf of an organization. (if applicable)
  • The applicant must have a confirmed library location with all permissions/permits approved.*
  • One application per household or organization per year.

*Property owners are advised that zoning and other restrictions may affect the location. Applicants need all permissions and permits before submitting an application

Review criteria

We use the following criteria to assess applications:

  • Location: Is the location confirmed? Will it be visible and accessible to the intended audience?
  • Partnership: Will a partner organization assist with the library?
  • Underserved: Will the library reach an underserved audience?
  • Book Need: Is there little or no book access in this community?
  • Impact: Will it promote literacy, foster community engagement, and have a community impact?
  • Maintenance: Is there a plan to maintain a book supply and the library?
Timeline
  • Applications are reviewed monthly.
  • Applicants are notified by the end of the month after the month they applied. (Example: January applicants will be notified by the end of February.)
  • Award packages are shipped about two weeks after the award notification. Delivery times vary.

Blog posts announcing the awards are posted near the end of each month.

Recipient agreements
  • Attach all signs and install the library at the designated location. Tribute signs for sponsors or partners are sometimes included.
  • Set up your steward account and add the library location and photo to the Little Free Library world map
  • Maintain the library and fill it with books for at least one year.
  • Hold one or more community activities or events in the first year.
  • Submit a photo and story about the impact of the library after installation.  
  • Credit and tag Little Free Library when posting on social media.
  • Respond to follow-up communications from Little Free Library.
  • Respond to print, broadcast, and/or online media requests when contacted. Little Free Library may notify local media about recipients granted a Little Free Library.
Skip to content