Reach Your Community with a Little Free Library
About a year ago, my family placed a Little Free Library in our front yard. We fill our box with books and watch with joy as they leave in the hands of our neighbors.
We have learned this past year that our Little Free Library is a tangible reminder to all who pass our house that we are rooted in our neighborhood and invested in the well-being of those around us. This simple Little Free Library box has connected us to our neighbors in ways that we are so thankful for. (Read more about their story.)
Here are six steps to take to start a Little Free Library in your community.
Step 1: Identify a location and steward
Decide where you can legally and safely install the library. The location should have a lot of foot traffic and be highly visible. Identify at least one person to be the steward (caretaker). This person promotes the Library and makes sure it’s clean and inviting.
Step 2: Get a Library
You can build your own Little Library, find someone to build one for you or purchase a Library online. Purchased Libraries are registered and come with a charter sign.
Step 3: Register your Library
When you register, you gain access to a network of support and benefits, including an official charter number. Your Library will be added to the world map once it’s registered.
Step 4: Fill Your Library with books
Stock your Little Library full of good choices for the whole neighborhood. Anyone may contribute or take books, and you do not need to return that exact book. Little Library book exchanges function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside. This way, everyone wins!
Step 5: Build Support
Get your church and community involved! Contact the local paper, radio and TV stations. Tell your friends, family and neighbors in-person. Use social media to engage your community with the Library. Follow the Little Free Library’s blog for insider tips and resources.
Step 6: Have a Grand Opening
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.
For all the links and information to start a Little Free Library, visit https://littlefreelibrary.org/start
About the Author: Katie Wiebe is the mother of 3 boys and is married to John. She is a former 5th-grade teacher and currently teaches literature circle classes for elementary students at the Shafter Learning Center. She loves to work at the intersection of faith, community, and education.