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.
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 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.
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!
Get Our Free Fundraising Guide!
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 a fundraising guide to help you get started.
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 for Beginners
Tashay Green runs a Chicago-based book-sharing program called "Books on the L," so named for Chicago's public transit system, the "L." When the city issued a shelter-in-place order in early 2020, Tashay had to put a hold on things, but she kept looking for a way to...
When Loida Casares heard a story about the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, placing book-sharing boxes in laundromats, she thought it was a genius idea. "I already had a Little Free Library of my own, outside my house, so I was already a library steward and supporter of...
“Starting a Little Free Library is an incredibly rewarding and satisfying experience,” says Autumn Stephens. She shares how she and her husband created ‘Library Day’ for their neighborhood in this Steward Spotlight blog post.