How to Create a Small Free Library in Your Area

You saw the boxes next door. Many are like one-room schools. Others look like miniature replicas of their owners’ homes. Since 2010, book lovers have created over 60,000 small free libraries in more than 80 countries around the world, simply for free sharing, which, according to Margrethe Aldrich, LFL media spokesperson and programmer, “awaken the love of reading. , build community and awaken creativity. “

Anyone can borrow or leave a book on any exchange, but if you want to create your own Little Free Library, LFL organizers recommend a few tips .

Find out where you can place it safely and legally

There is very little chance of you bumping into zoning laws like this boy from Kansas . But if there are other Free Small Libraries already up and running in your area, and most importantly, you host them on a private property (yours or approved by the landowner), away from pedestrian traffic, you should be fine. According to LFL staff, “Every city that has taken the time to scrutinize its zoning laws for the library has fully supported these literacy efforts. There have been several libraries that have been moved to better locations, but they have not been closed. “

If not you, name the manager or caretaker of the library.

In other words, someone to watch over the box, make sure it stays clean, and help promote it. Chatting with other stewards in your area or city is not only a good way to get inspiration for yourself, but it can also provide you with excellent resources for help and advice, both for getting started and for keeping your library running.

Buy or build your own library.

Handmade ready-to-assemble kits, as well as pre-made book exchange boxes and poles, are available from Little Free Library . Pricing ranges from $ 149 to $ 2,500 (for the six-foot-high Pole of the World version), with all purchases backed by the non-profit LFL.

If you want to create your own, instructions and plans are available on the LFL website – or you can just get creative. There are no rules about how your library looks or how you decorate it. According to Aldrich, “There are little free libraries that look like everything from robots, spaceships and roosters” to the Harry Potter home at Hogwarts. (We have one here in Colorado that looks like the Doctor Who TARDIS – which I think is genius because whenever I look inside the LFL it always seems larger and holds more books than I expected).

For more inspiration take a look at these 10 incredibly steep projects (with the guidelines of design with open source and installation instructions), created by the architects of New York in the framework of the Architectural League of New York and the World Voices Festival of PEN .

Register your library

If you want to use the Little Free Library name, you must register your exchange and pay a fee of $ 40, for which you will receive an official charter badge with a unique number to be attached to your structure and a listing on the LFL world map. … (Note: if you buy a kit or a finished box in the LFL, registration is included in the purchase price.)

Share and celebrate.

The LFL invites you to send out press releases and share news of your new exchange on social media, as well as host a grand opening ceremony with snacks and ribbon cutting. I’m certainly not against the holidays or food, but if that sounds overwhelming in any way, I’m pretty sure the book lovers in your community can find a new site on their own, so maybe just grab a book, sit down and read. my new library by reading.


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