Through the Impact Library Program, Little Free Library provides free book exchanges where they can have a meaningful impact in the United States and Canada. The program aims to strengthen community ties, inspire readers, expand easy book access, positively influence literacy outcomes, and make Little Free Libraries available in high-need areas.
Direct donations and sale revenues fund this program.
What to Know Before Applying
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We use the following criteria to assess applications:
- Location: Is the proposed location of the library confirmed? Will it be visible and accessible to the intended audience?
- Partnership: Will a partner organization assist with the installation, maintenance, and stocking books for the library?
- Underserved: Will the library reach people experiencing poverty? Check the map to view poverty levels of your area. High poverty areas are prioritized.
- Book Need: Does the community face barriers to book access? Check the map to view census tracts. Areas with a likelihood of 100+ Books in the Home being ‘least likely’ are prioritized.
- Impact: Will it promote literacy, foster community engagement, and contribute to the overall wellbeing of the community?
- Maintenance: Is there a detailed plan to maintain an ongoing book supply and the upkeep of the library?
- The library location and a physical shipping address must be in the United States, including the 5 U.S. territories, 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 every 6 months.
*Property owners are advised that zoning and other restrictions may affect the location. Applicants need all permissions and permits before submitting an application.
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 set of three wooden panels, finished for extra water protection, ready to be painted or decorated for additional customization of your library
- A starter set of diverse books
- A Steward’s Guide booklet
- Paid shipping costs
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.
- Attach all signs included and install the library at the designated location.
- Set up a steward account to complete the library registration.
- Add the library location and photo to the Little Free Library world map.
- Share a photo and story about the impact of the library after installation.
- Credit and tag Little Free Library when sharing on social media or in the news.
- Respond to all follow-up communications from Little Free Library.
- Acknowledge that Little Free Library® and its logo are registered trademarks of LFL, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. LFL grants Impact grant recipients revocable, non-transferable permission to use our trademarked name and logo to promote our collaborative activities through their communication channels and promotional materials. When using LFL’s marks, Impact grant recipients must state “Little Free Library® and its logo are registered trademarks of Little Free Library, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and are used with its permission.” Impact grant recipients may not alter LFL’s trademark or logo, use it to raise funds, sell goods or services or otherwise claim a direct affiliation with LFL without the express, written permission of LFL in advance.
- 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.
Fill Out an Impact Library Program Application
To apply for a Little Free Library through the Impact Library Program, please fill out an Impact Library Program application.