If you live in a community with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), you will likely need to get permission from the HOA before you put up a Little Free Library book-sharing box. Here are some tips to help get your HOA on board:
- Be friendly and show that you are willing to comply with HOA regulations. The HOA may have concerns about your library’s appearance, so show that you’re willing to design the library to address their concerns. If they’re worried about liability, show that you’re willing to purchase liability insurance.
- Demonstrate the value of Little Free Library book-boxes: they provide access to books 24/7, which is especially important for kids when they aren’t in school, but adults need access to books, too! Little libraries also strengthen community connections and encourage neighborliness.
- Show the HOA that you’re prepared to be an active steward that will keep your little library clean, attractive, and in good shape. Let them know that if the library is damaged, you will be responsible for repairs and will take care of them in a timely fashion. Nobody wants a headache or one more responsibility, so show them that you will handle all of the details so they have nothing to worry about!
- Provide the HOA with an example of amended zoning ordinances to make it easy for them to amend the bylaws to allow little libraries.
If you try these suggestions but still can’t get approval, then perhaps you could work around the issue by creating a “temporary” little library. You could fill a wagon full of books and wheel it around the neighborhood! Or you could install a Little Free Library on a rolling wooden platform and roll it out of your garage a few times each week. Some stewards have discovered that some community spaces like the neighborhood pool or public park aren’t governed by the HOA and were able to place little libraries in those spaces instead.