Todd Bol from Hudson, Wisconsin started a ‘take-a-book, leave-a-book’ system in his front yard as a tribute to his late mother, a teacher with a passion for books. Since it got its start in 2009, the Little Free Library (LFL) has become the world’s largest book-sharing movement. You can join the mission by building a Little Free Library It’s a great family activity for fall, and gives you a chance to accomplish a fun task with your kids while reinforcing the importance of reading and literacy.
Steps for building a Little Free Library:
1. Choose a Location and Name a Steward
Your first step will be to decide where to place it. Choose a safe and legal location with a lot of foot traffic. Little Free Library shares some great advice in this video on how to site and install your Little Free Library. Choosing your steward or caretaker is also important to make sure your library stays clean and running smoothly for years to come.
2. Building Your Little Free Library
There aren’t any rules when it comes to the design of your Little Free Library other than that it needs to hold books. You can get as creative as you want when you build your Little Free Library. Handmade ready-to-assemble kits or pre-built libraries are also available from the Little Free Library shop.
3. Register Your Library
To become an official Little Free Library, you need to register your site. Registering gets you an official charter sign engraved with a unique charter number. You also gain access to a network of support and benefits. Libraries purchased through the LFL shop are automatically registered and include a charter sign.
4. Share your Library
To get the word out about your library and gain the support of your neighbors, LFL suggests sending out a press release and utilizing social media. You can also host a grand opening ceremony with a ribbon cutting to introduce your library to its new community. They even offer some promotional materials for stewards to help with marketing.
5. Add your LFL to the World Map
The Library Search Tool quite literally puts your Little Free Library on the map so it can be enjoyed by all.