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 Little Free Library Sharing Network—now more than 70,000 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.
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.
Step Two: Get a Library
You can build your own Little Library, find someone locally to build one for you, or purchase a Library through our online catalog. Libraries purchased through our online store are automatically registered, and come with a charter sign already attached.
Step Three: Register Your Library
When you register, you gain access to network of support and benefits, including an official charter sign engraved with a unique charter number. Important: Libraries purchased through our online catalog 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.
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.
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 private stewards’ Facebook group to share tips and ideas with your fellow stewards!
“My Library keeps me young and my spirit alive…being a steward has given me a whole new direction. I would advise anyone to jump in with both feet and get started.”
– Sandy Freel, Little Library #29524
Get Our Free Fundraising Guides!
Do you want to start a Little Free Library, but a lack of funds is stopping you from moving forward? Raising enough money for a Library might seem challenging, which is why we created two fundraising guides to help you get started.
Download our Guide to Community Grants – This guide helps you quickly and easily review major organizations that offer local grants you can apply to receive. We’ll share how much you can apply for, when to apply, and links to get started right away.
Download our Guide to Local Fundraising – Discover the types of businesses and organizations that already exist in your community that would help you start a Library! We’ll share the exact words to use and “secret” strategies to maximize your fundraising efforts.
Inspiration and Resources for Beginners
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Killarnock, Virginia launched their Community Literacy Project in 2013. The original goal was to put up four Little Free Library book-sharing boxes in nearby counties, but they decided to expand the project when they saw how many readers (especially young ones!) were gaining access to books because of the Little Libraries.read more
Little Free Libraries are more than just quaint little boxes that people put up in their front yards. Cities and organizations around the country are putting them up 5, 10 or 20 at a time to serve a variety of purposes. The city of Brantford, Ontario put their own creative spin on the 10 Little Free Libraries they placed around town.read more
How did a town of just 30,000 people wind up with over 100 Little Libraries? Little Free Library steward Mary Lindsey shares how she accomplished so much in so little time.read more