Little Free Libraries

I first read about Little Free Libraries in my local newspaper.

The first one was built in Wisconsin in 2009 by the son of a teacher.  It was an enclosure with a glass door mounted on a post constructed to look like a one room schoolhouse.   There are now more than 50,000 registered in the United States and even a few worldwide.

They are generally put in the front yard of a home and initially filled with books by the owner or steward.  Then anyone can come by and take a book, and hopefully the same readers or others will also leave a book.

I love the idea of sharing a love of reading and books, and I also enjoy the various creative designs of the structures themselves.

The first one I came across was in a mall.


After Memorial Day, on my morning walk with my dog, I came across my first neighborhood little library.

There is a registration fee of $40 if you want your front yard library to be part of the official Little Free Library movement.  The fee entitles you to a charter sign, number, and to have your library location included on a map on the nonprofit organization’s website.

The little library down the street from me is a neighborhood “secret” – no sign.  I took one book, put three in, and was pleased to see my books were all quickly taken.  I actually feel proud my picks are popular! The little two shelf container is very full; I think more people have put in books than taken them out.  There is a good mix, including many children’s books.

can you guess which book I put in?

My full size neighborhood library is about a mile away.  Although close, it takes me about 20 minutes to get there on foot.  I donate most of my books there.  I used to keep more books after I read them, but yarn and fabric has cut down on my storage space, so I like to pass them on.  My sewing and craft reference books are my keepers.

I also go a very low priced used bookstore  and recently started reading books on a tablet.  I resisted the e-book revolution for quite awhile, but now embrace it as another option.  But there is no substitute for a physical book that doesn’t need to be charged and can easily be shared and passed on to others even decades later.

Do you have a little library near you or would you consider putting one up?  Where do you get your books from and what do you do with them afterwards? Are you a reader of hard copy books or e-books?


For more information:

Little Free Library website

Libraries of Distinction – a Pinterest board with photos of the many creative Little Free Library structures


7 thoughts on “Little Free Libraries

  1. KerryCan

    A couple of my other blog pals have written about their LFLs–it’s such a powerful idea! I don’t know whether there are any around here–I’ll have to look. I mostly take books out from the library–that just makes sense to me. My husband wants to own and keep books forever, though, so we have an awful lot of them around!

  2. Stitch It Again Post author

    I remember checking out big stacks from the library as a kid. Now I buy so I don’t have to worry about return dates. One of my favorite parts of reading is browsing either in person or online to pick the next one to read, and I already have quite a few unread ones around.

  3. seweverythingblog

    Love the concept but have never seen one in my neighborhood. Like you, most of my reading is now on a tablet, unless it’s a sewing book. Heh.

  4. Stitch It Again Post author

    So far I’ve only read 6 books in e-form, and have another 14 downloaded. I have lots more hard copy books. The only books I spend more than a few dollars on are sewing books.

    1. Stitch It Again Post author

      I’m glad yours is such a success! I can see how it would be an important asset for a small or rural community. The one down the street from me is being used, even though we have an actual library in our neighborhood. In California we had budget cuts and the library hours were cut way back, but they’ve since been expanded again. One thing I like about a little library is discovering books or authors I wouldn’t have known about otherwise (and it’s always open).


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