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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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 65,000 Little Free Libraries around the world, in all 50 states and 80 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 65,000 registered Little Free Libraries around the globe, in all 50 states and 80+ 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 100,000 on our Facebook pages; serve a mailing list of 50,000; 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: • 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. • KIDS, COMMUNITY, AND COPS – In a time when relationships are strained between the police and the public, books can help bring people together. Police departments in cities like Los Angeles, Cleveland, and New Orleans are placing Little Free Library book exchanges in their precincts and inviting local families to book-centered events, or establishing community LFLs to foster literacy and neighbor interaction. • IMPACT FUND – 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 Fund 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.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I fell in love the first moment I saw a newspaper story about Little Free Libraries. The fact that Little Free Libraries were “born” in Wisconsin made it even more exciting. Then, my handyperson posted a picture of an LFL he’d just installed, I called and asked him to make me one too. Overhearing my request, an employee suggested perhaps this would be a project his dad would like to do, and he did! He built Little Free Library #6387, now one of more than 50,000 worldwide! #6387 is just one city block from the large and very popular Roverwest Dog Park and activity is always lively of both donations and takeaways! While dog parents stop, we offer treats for dogs who wait patiently (and often PULL their walkers to the treats). We are an urban neighborhood of single and multifamily homes. Our Facebook page, Little Free Libraries of Riverwest (https://www.facebook.com/Little-Free-Libraries-of-Riverwest-550234955060355/), is bordered by the Milwaukee River in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our libraries have lots of active traffic and contributions of magazines, puzzles, videos, DVDs but mostly wonderful books of all genres and interests.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have loved LFL's for several years! All 9 of my grandkids and one great grand, surprised me with a LFL for my 70'th birthday! My oldest granddaughter is a co Steward with me. It was built with love and care by my son-in-law and has brought so much joy to my life!! So many generously donated books! We love our visitors...who make our LFL magical! Please visit our FB page @ Cumberland's Awesome House of Books!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am getting ready to install a Little Free Library in the Adirondacks (when the snow melts and the ground softens)! I look forward to sharing my love for reading with other residents - summer folks and locals. I have already gotten so much support for the idea and the books are rolling in. The row boat theme is perfect for the surroundings. The LFL website was so helpful!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is one of the best volunteer gigs I've ever had. It totally aligns with my values & interests & aside from a little disagreement with one neighbor who didn't care for my emphasis on general interest books (she'd slipped in something that was of a conservative religious nature -- not my goal), people in our neighborhood have been very supportive & happy that my husband & I installed it. We've had great responses in the little notebook we leave out there, and I enjoy weeding & restocking the LFL from time to time... and seeing what people say about it. It's a lot of fun! I appreciate the support & info this nonprofit offers!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love their mission and support! When I found out about Little Free Libraries, I immediately wanted to have my own and spread the love of reading. I researched information on how to do it and found their resources to be amazing. They have a Facebook page which is interesting and helpful as well as a Facebook page for stewards with great sharing of ideas and tips for having your own successful LFL.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have two Little Free Libraries -- one in rural Clatsop County on the north Oregon coast and one in suburban Portland, Oregon.

Both my libraries get regular use, and folks leave lovely comments in our visitor log.

It's a wonderful way to encourage reading and exchange of books, and make our neighborhoods a little bit richer.

Whatever a reader's tastes, they'll always be a book that appeals in our library!

3 David407

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Little Free Libraries is a remarkable idea that has been embraced in thousands of communities worldwide. By making books free to share between neighbors, a little free library is a sign that "caring people live in this neighborhood." While every LFL is a delightful expression of its owner's creativity, all share essential values:
1) literacy is the foundation of democracy
2) that knowledge is for sharing
3) sharing a book is more satisfying than owning it.
There is still much room for growth. The passion of the founder and the admin team is infectious. This team pours forth new ideas to enliven the 50,000 stewards and enrich their communities. Role: Professional with expertise in this field

2 Joyce12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our town had no library, so a LFL located across the street in a city park seemed like a good idea. It's been a terrific way to cycle books from a fairly extensive library--I'm an English teacher--into the community. I rarely see those who frequent the library, but I was thrilled to hear on a bus ride home one evening, "My family loves the Little Free Library."

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This has been the most amazing thing that has happened in my neighborhood since Stephen King moved in! People love the library, and take very good care of it. They are grateful for the children's books. There are many people living in the neighborhood without much extra to spend on books - and they are the ones who leave the most amazing notes in the guest book. With the struggles that families have making ends meet, the ability to bring extra books home to read - and actually to keep if they want to - is very very needed in today's climate.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Our church in Saint Paul, MN was searching for a way to reach out to the community and a member was kind enough to build us a Little Free Library to mount by the sidewalk. Church members who live across from the church observe that many neighbors stop to browse. It is placed near the children's playground so handy for parents supervising their young ones playing. When I check it to tidy and resupply, I am always happy to see that interesting books have been left by the walkers for others to read. On the side of the LFL, a weather-proof container is attached which offers the church monthly brochure of activities.