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!

How did Little Free Library get started? Who can start one? The 30-second video above is a quick and easy way to learn the history behind Little Libraries and how you can be part of the movement, too. (This adorable 2-minute explanation of how Little Libraries work is worth a watch, too!)

Then, take a look over the world map to see if there is already a little library in your neighborhood. If there is, stop by and chat with the library steward 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 also have a lot of foot traffic and be highly visible to anyone nearby. Then identify at least one person to be the 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 Your Library

When you register, you gain access to a network of support and benefits, including an official charter sign printed with a unique charter number. Important: libraries purchased through our online store are automatically registered and a charter sign is included with the library. One of the most popular benefits of registration is the option to add your library to the world map.

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Step Four: Build Support

Get your community involved! Contact the local paper, radio, and TV stations. Send out a press release. Tell your friends, family and neighbors in person. Use social media to engage your community with the library and be sure to follow Little Free Library’s blog for insider tips and resources. The more people who know about your library and support it, the better.

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Step Five: Add Your Library to the World Map

Hold a Grand Opening Ceremony and invite your neighbors to kick off the library in style! Have a ribbon cutting, provide snacks, and exchange books. Take lots of photos and add your library to the world map. Join the Facebook group for registered stewards to share tips and ideas with your fellow stewards!

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How to start a Little Free Library book exchange

Little Free Library Stewardship 101

If you’re thinking of starting a Little Free Library book box, you’ve probably got a lot of questions. What are the benefits of a little library? Will a Little Free Library work in your neighborhood? What’s the role of a Little Free Library steward? 

Watch our free webinar Stewardship 101! Created as part of our digital events series Little Free Library Unbound, Stewardship 101 is a must-watch for anyone wanting to create a little library.

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

Aloha! to Maui’s New Little Free Library

Aloha! to Maui’s New Little Free Library

The unveiling of Little Free Library #128118 in Wailuku, Hawaii, was a community project led by Rosetta Hiranaga. Friends and neighbors contributed in a variety of ways to make this a memorable community event. Rosetta, Chair of Literacy Promotion at her Haleakala...

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Steward Spotlight: Cate O’Toole

Steward Spotlight: Cate O’Toole

Cate O'Toole came home in March after a weekend away celebrating her birthday to find her Little Free Library reduced to ashes. Fortunately, a passerby had noticed the fire before it could spread and called the Fire Department. Cate's home and surrounding trees were...

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