Apply for an Indigenous Library Program Grant

Would you like to bring a Little Free Library to an Indigenous Community? Apply for an Indigenous Library Program grant. Little Free Library grants free book exchanges to enhance book access in Indigenous communities in the United States and Canada. Grantees receive a Little Free Library, installation materials, and starter sets of diverse books!

Through the Indigenous Library Program, Little Free Library aims to:

  • Strengthen community
  • Inspire readers
  • Expand easy book access
  • Influence literacy outcomes
  • Make Little Free Libraries available in high-need locations serving Indigenous Peoples

What to Know Before Applying

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:

  • Attach the official Little Free Library charter sign to your library.
  • Add your library to the Little Free Library world map to make it easier to find.
  • Tell your community about this great new resource! Share your library opening on social media, in newsletters, and with your neighbors.
  • Keep the library stocked with books.
  • Perform 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 weatherstripping if appropriate.
What is Included?

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

  • A fully assembled Little Free Library or kit (depends on your preference)
  • Optional wood post or indoor legs kit for installation (includes hardware and instructions)
  • Optional Mini Shed Add On (small unfinished wood shed, side-mounted on post, post required)
  • Charter sign (English Only, English-Spanish Bilingual, English-French Bilingual, or Custom)
  • Indigenous Library Program Medallion (2 in. diameter, includes hardware)
  • Two starter sets of diverse books (one broad and one Indigenous-focused)
  • Steward’s Guide booklet
  • Paid shipping costs
Eligibility Conditions
  • Organizations with long-term commitments/relationships with the Indigenous community are prioritized.
  • 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 six months.

*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:

  • Indigenous Community: Has service to an Indigenous group been specified?
  • Indigenous Connection: Is there a long-term commitment/relationship with the Indigenous community?
  • Location: Is the location confirmed, visible, and accessible to the intended audience?
  • Partnership: Will a partner organization assist with the library?
  • Underserved: Will the library reach underserved audiences?
  • Book Need: Is there little or no book access in this community or neighborhood?
  • Impact: Will the library promote literacy, foster engagement, and have a community impact?
  • Maintenance: Is there a plan for ongoing maintenance and book supply?
  • Completed applications are reviewed on a two-month cycle starting with the January/February cycle. Notifications will be sent after the application has been reviewed with another month to confirm the details.
  • Grant award packages are shipped about two weeks after the grant award has been accepted. Delivery times vary.
  • Blog and social media posts announcing the grant awards are posted bi-monthly.
Recipient Agreements
  • 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.
A successful Grand Opening event for the Little Free Library granted to the Mille Lacs Indian Museum in Onamia, MN!

Additional Resources

Do you or your organization serve a non-Indigenous community? Apply for an Impact Library Program grant.

If you have an unregistered book-sharing box, consider applying for free or reduced-price charter signs.

If you’re looking for affordable books, check out book opportunities for existing stewards.

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