Exploring the Little Free Library Phenomenon

This Little Free Library — located near the Eudora Welty House in the Belhaven Neighborhood of Jackson, Mississippi — is one of more than 100,000 worldwide. (©Chad Robertson, Adobe Stock)

Most do-it-yourselfers build, create and fix things for themselves, but some spend hours in the workshop to benefit others with a Little Free Library.

Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization, promotes literacy, creativity and community through its book exchanges that bear the same name.

The organization started in 2009 with one book exchange in Hudson, Wisconsin, but its reach has expanded across the globe. Today, 100,000-plus book exchanges are in more than 100 countries.


Little Free Library with a red roof and blue sides in the Garden District of New Orleans
This Little Free Library — located in the Uptown Garden District of New Orleans — works on the honor system. If you take a book, you must donate a book. (©Kristina Blokhin – stock.adobe.com)

About the Little Free Library’s Bookcase

The signature bookcase — resembling a small building — makes a Little Free Library instantly recognizable. It’s usually made of wood, mounted on a post and has a door with a window to protect books from the elements.

The Little Free Library’s website has building plans and installation tips, but the nonprofit doesn’t require bookcases to

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