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Little Free Library Ltd

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Education, Libraries

Mission: Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.

Results: There are more than 80,000 Little Free Libraries around the world, in all 50 states and 90+ countries. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Geographic areas served: Neighborhoods across the United States and around the world

Programs: Each year, tens of millions of books are shared in Little Free Library book exchanges worldwide. There are more than 80,000 registered Little Free Libraries around the globe, in all 50 states and 90+ countries—from California to New York and Nigeria to the Netherlands. Through these small book exchanges, big things are happening! Little Free Libraries promote literacy and a love of reading through increased book access, build a sense of community, and spark creativity. Even better, this is an inclusive movement that encourages people of all ages, backgrounds, and socioeconomic standing to participate. Little Free Library has been honored by the National Book Foundation, the Library of Congress, Library Journal, and others. We reach more than 150,000 on our Facebook pages; serve a mailing list of 40,000; and are widely covered in the media, appearing more than 20,000 news stories last year. The Little Free Library nonprofit maintains robust programming to help bring people together, celebrate the joy of reading, and encourage positive community action. Key examples: • IMPACT LIBRARY PROGRAM – Our Impact Fund places no-cost Little Free Libraries in communities where they can truly make a difference. Recipients have included homeless shelters, schools, and other areas in need of greater book access. The Impact program is made possible by individual donors and partner organizations who share a vision for spreading the joy and power of sharing books. Additional dollars come from Little Free Library’s retail sales and Library registration fees. • ACTION BOOK CLUB – In a new twist on the traditional book club, the Action Book Club asks the question: “How can books inspire you to make the world a better place?” Participants read books on a particular theme, engage in lively discussions, and then complete a meaningful—and fun—group project to benefit their community. This is reading and social engagement at its best.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little Free Libraries have played a vital role in rebuilding New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Found in front of homes, stores, schools, churches, community gardens, police stations, parks, day care centers and nursery schools, they have helped neighborhoods restore a sense of community. In appreciation for the way Little Free Libraries promote literacy and the love of reading, every year teams of volunteers from the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library devote a day to filling all 200 Little Free Libraries in the city with a big selection of donated books.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello! I had never heard of the Little Free Library organization until we went to MO to visit our daughter. She had just purchased a library and she asked her dad to “plant” it for her. My curiosity was instantly peaked! She explained how it worked and I was hooked! As soon as we got back home, my husband started building me a library. I’ve had it up a little over a year and a half now. It has brought me so much joy! I still get so excited when I see someone drive up to my library! It never gets old! I have kids ride up on their bikes and the daily neighborhood walkers stop by as well. It makes me feel great to know that I am helping to promote literacy. I have a lot of fun with the library as well. I decorate for the different holidays and put little extras in it like bookmarks and pencils etc. for the kids. It helps to bring communities together and it’s nice when you see your neighbors having a chat at your library. It’s a great organization!

Misty Morris

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I saw my first little library in Oregon and I loved it so much. Reading has always been something consistent in my life and I told myself that when I was stable and at a place in my life to give, that I would have a little library too.

I'm there now! We have had our library for 3 years. We share all kind of books and our neighbors visit and use the library as a meeting spot. I've meet so many people because of the library. So many children have taken books!

The support from this community, from this organization, is nothing short of amazing. They have a useful website, a Facebook group for stewards, they keep in contact with a newsletter, and the organization even sets up book support for libraries that need help after storms. I'm proud to be apart of this network.

1 MarcyandPete B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Todd Bol started this movement in honor of his mother. What a great tribute and fantastic opportunity to share stories with all ages. The gift of reading great stories will always stand the test of time

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I was getting ready to retire, after 22 years in my position, I was asked what I would like for a retirement gift. I requested a Lending Library and a box of starter books , much to the surprise of my company. I live in a corner lot home with elementary schools on both streets so I have lots of foot traffic when the children are walking to and from school. I had no idea my library would be so popular!
I check the contents every day I am around and find I am constantly refilling it. I have found I add more books than are returned but I am happy to do so. Reading has provided me with much happiness and joy over the years and I hope my library is giving that to the children that are using it.
I have found garage sales, city library book sales and used bookstores a great source for inventory. My favorite used bookstore, when learning I was purchasing books for a lending library gave me free pick of books from their overstock collection at no cost.
I often run a "theme" library for holidays, animals, teddy bears, fairies, etc., and have noticed enthusiasm from the children when they discover I have a lot of books on something they enjoy.
My husband didn't get my enthusiasm for my Little Library until he started checking the inventory with me, now we both pick out the books and keep our library stocked for the children stopping by.
My library reminds me of all my friends from my former workplace and has lasted long after a gift certificate for dinner or some other token for retirement. My gift keeps on giving both to me and the recipients of the books. The Lending Library concept is wonderful!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a Counselor. I have a client who was recently informed that her child needs help with reading and the teacher told her to buy books to help to improve their reading skills. My client asked if I knew where she can obtain books because she currently lacks finances due to trauma. I told her about Little Free library and gave her a book that was donated to our agency to help her to get started. That way she can have her child read that one book and have an endless supply by exchanging for another book. I have another client who is cleaning up the clutter in her home. She asked if I knew anyone who needed children's books. I located a Little Free Library near her and offered to leave some at two in my neighborhood. She was delighted. As for myself, I've discovered new authors through The Little free Library, which lead to me purchasing new books and I will visit our public library to read more. I believe that The Little Free Library is beneficial to public libraries, the community, and authors.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I first learned about Little Free Library through the "Rotary Magazine" a few years ago. When I became involved with the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee, FL and saw what they were doing for the children of Immokalee through their programs of Early Learning Centers, After School Tutoring and Tutor Corps, I thought that the libraries could be a tool to encourage the little children to read. We know that children living in poverty are way behind in their vocabularies by the time they reach third grade. I found one of five libraries built in Naples, FL for the city parks and that got me started.
So, I decided to provide the libraries along with an initial supply of books through Books4Schools, another Wisconsin organization(I'm originally from WI).
Guadalupe Center received the first Little Free Library (photo). With the partnership with a good friend and woodworker, we have also supplied a number of libraries we built ourselves in Iowa (photo) in addition to purchased ones (cost + freight is expensive).
Several early centers in Collier County, FL and the Quad Cities in IA/IL now have little libraries; also elementary schools in IA and Habitat for Humanity communities in Collier County. Our books are aimed at K-2 children.
We hope we're doing some good!
Mark T Nagan, FL & IA

Penny L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our Little Free Library #66367 in Newburyport Massachusetts is devoted exclusively to piano music! Our LFL is decorated with music note stickers and hand lettering by my piano students. The top of our LFL is an open book and if you peek inside the roof line, viewers are treated to a picture of Ludwig von Beethoven and the music of his famed Moonlight Sonata for piano. My 40 school age piano students maintain the library by putting library cards and the LFL logo in the many used piano music books and sheet pieces that we collect and rotate throughout the year. We were featured in our local paper! It is delightful to watch from the front windows of the studio, the cars that pull up to explore the piano music and it is always exciting to find music that is shared with us. As students grow musically, there is always a question about what to do with their old books that no longer challenges them but may be needed by younger students, for which paying for lessons, maintaining a piano and buying music is a burden on family budgets. We are so pleased to be able to help not only our students, but piano students across our town by offering music for all to learn and enjoy. Studio Owner Penny Lazarus, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would like to recognize Giovanni Seccaveccia who created West Hartford’s Mr. Bookman, Little Free Library Steward and Guardian Facebook page. He personally oversees all of West Hartford‘s Little Free Libraries by distributing books and making sure all of our Little Free Libraries are full and neat. We all really appreciate his hard work and dedication.

Kathy Barrett B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We installed a Little Free Library in the Elsie Priest Park behind The United Church of Christ in Keene, NH nearly 4 years ago. Hundreds, perhaps 1000s, of books have circulated through our LFL. We stock it with books for all ages including board books for babies and toddlers, picture books for young children, early readers, young adult books, novels, poetry, biographies and how-to books for adults. Unique items are sometimes put in our LFL such as calendars, small gifts, and other items to share with others. From June 19-23, 2019 the Walldogs Mural artists are coming to Keene and will paint one of the dozen large murals on the brick wall adjacent to our Little Free Library. We can't wait to see what the mural will look like!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Impact Fund Little Library has been a fantastic organization to work with and help my students receive access to great literature, right in their own community! Their generosity and prompt response to questions and mailing our library was quick and easy. Everything was simple to install and it came stocked with GREAT books to get you going. My students and families love having access to this resource in their community, as the school is a place they are already visiting. The ease of gaining access to books without making a separate trip to the library has been an awesome addition to our community! Without the help of this organization this would not have been possible.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Reading Coach at a small, neighborhood, Title I elementary school, I am always searching for ways to get students excited about reading. Through the Impact Fund at Little Free Library, our school was awarded a Little Free Library so all families in our community can have access to free books at any time, year round. Our students and parents love browsing and taking home books to read.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were so excited to be chosen for the Impact program! The children in our neighborhood love it and it’s been a great way to meet more neighbors. It truly makes a difference for our neighborhood.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Terrific organization that provides tons of support! I love my Little Free Library!!!!

Heather H.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wrote a grant last fall to get a Little Free Library for our local elementary center.
Through the Impact Grant, the school received a Little Free Library box.
I wrote a couple of blog articles on my experience with Little Free Library.
http://elementarylibrary2010.blogspot.com/2016/08/little-free-libraries.html
http://elementarylibrary2010.blogspot.com/2017/03/impact-grant-wrap-up.html

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our nonprofit organization was awarded one of the 'Little Free Library' gift packages.

The 'Kick-Off' is scheduled for Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

We are excited to offer the residents an opportunity to increase literacy within the community.

Thank you - 'Little Free Library'!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great communication and fantastic ideas on how to accomplish goals and how to help the organization. A nonprofit that has made a difference in my neighborhood.

Dr.O

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The LFL program is fantastic. It is proliteracy, proeducation, and propeople. The people are so generous and kind. Not a bad word can be said.
True Service Above Self.
Thank you for the Impact libraries!
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange/os-little-free-library-phyllis-olmstead-20180307-story.html

Previous Stories
2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have very diverse socioeconomic levels in central Florida. We have Heathrow, Sweetwater, and Islesworth replete with good schools, access to book stores, libraries, and private transportion. Then we have Pine Hills, South Apopka, and Parramore with limited access to the Internet, lack of funds for buying books, and barriers to getting library books.

How can we fix these barriers to health, hope, and a good future? Little Free Libraries in neighborhoods where people frequent and by their homes will encourage them to expand their literacy levels, improve their education, and better their careers.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi my name is Dawn, I am an elementary school teacher and always dreamed of being a librarian. I thought having a Little Free Library would help make my dream come true and build young readers in my community. I wrote a request to Little Free Library Impact Fund and was selected to receive a library free of charge. My neighbors and I absolutely love it! This is a wonderful nonprofit that is making communities better, one library, one book at a time.

1 Patsy C. B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Waynesboro-Wayne County Library was so excited to receive a Little Free Library !
Wayne County, Mississippi is located in a rural area with 20,755 individuals in our county and we are the only public library serving the community. Through another grant we now have two libraries, and I have also written a Scholastic grant for books to go inside the library. Please see attached photo. On March 13, 2018 we exhibited the DR. Seuss library at the Mississippi State Capitol for state legislators and the library community. Everyone was very impressed with it.