Start Your Own Little Free Library

If you want to start a Little Free Library book exchange, you’re in the right place. We’re excited to have you join the network—now more than 100,000 Little Free Libraries strong! Watch the 30-second video above to see how Little Free Libraries work and learn how you can start a little library, too.

We also recommend using the Little Free Library mobile app or web map to find a Little Free Library near you. Stop by and chat with the volunteer steward of that library and ask for their advice as you get started.

Insider’s Guide to Starting a Little Free Library

Sign up below to get your Free Insider’s Guide To Starting A Little Free Library! Full of tips from veteran Little Free Library stewards, you can benefit from their years of experience and learn the smart way to build, install, stock and promote your library.

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How to Start a Little Free Library: Five Easy Steps!

Step One: Identify a Location & Steward

First decide where you can legally and safely install the library. The location should have regular foot traffic and be highly visible to anyone nearby. Then identify at least one person to be the volunteer steward (steward = caretaker). This person promotes the library and makes sure it is clean and inviting.

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Step Two: Get a Library

You can build your own Little Free Library following any design you like; find someone locally to build one for you; or purchase a library through Little Free Library’s online store. Libraries purchased through our online store are automatically registered and come with a charter sign included.

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Step Three: Register

You register by purchasing an official charter sign. If you buy a Little Free Library from our online store, it will automatically come registered with a charter sign included. If you build your own book-sharing box, register it by purchasing a charter sign. After you register, you gain access to a network of benefits just for stewards, such as the option to set up your steward account and list your library on the Little Free Library mobile app and web map.

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Step Four: Set Up Your Steward Account

After you purchase your Little Free Library or charter sign, you will receive an email with a link to set up your steward account. With an account, you can log in to the Little Free Library app or steward web portal and enter all of your library’s details. Push your library’s location live on the map whenever you’re ready! Take advantage of other interactive features in your steward account like enabling a guest book for your visitors; posting announcements; linking to your social media pages; and much more!

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Step Five: Build Community Support

Get your community involved! Tell your friends, family, and neighbors in person. Use social media to engage your community. Hold a Grand Opening Ceremony and invite your neighbors to kick off the library in style with a ribbon cutting, snacks, and books freely exchanged! Contact the local paper, radio, and TV stations. Send out a press release. The more people who know about your library and support it, the better.

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How to start a Little Free Library book exchange

Top 3 Reasons to Start a Little Free Library

If you’re thinking of starting a Little Free Library book box, you’ve probably got a lot of questions. Will a Little Free Library work in your neighborhood? What are the benefits of a little library? Watch the adjacent video to learn the top three reasons you should start a little library today.

If you’re looking for more, watch our free webinar Stewardship 101! In this hour-long discussion, three experienced stewards answer commonly-asked questions and share inspiring stories of how little libraries have changed their communities for the better.

Inspiration for Beginners

Steward Spotlight: Pam Leo

Steward Spotlight: Pam Leo

At age 71, author and family literacy activist Pam Leo says she is only just beginning “to end illiteracy for free.” Pam started her organization Book Fairy Pantry Project (BFPP) in 2016 after discovering some startling statistics about illiteracy and the lack of book...

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