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2017 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 50,000 Little Free Libraries around the world, in all 50 states and 70 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, millions of books are shared in Little Free Library book exchanges worldwide. There are more than 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries around the globe, in all 50 states and 70 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 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: • 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

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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!!

1

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!

2

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!

2 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

1

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 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.

2

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So, did I have lots of books to share!!! My house is stuffed with books. So, when I heard about LFL from my daughter, one of my friend's sons had learned how to build Little Free Libraries in a community project and helped me build one too, using recycled stuff from Community Forklift. And, I stocked it up with books from my house. I registered it and got lots of good ideas from the website about how to manage my library. Then, lo and behold, people started contributing books too, and kids would come by and I would hear parents say,"no, only two." Now when I am out in the community and people don't know where I live I say, I have the blue Little Free Library and their faces light up. The founder of LFL came through last year and I had a chance to meet him along with other LFL librarians. It was really inspiring to hear him talk about getting a library out in front of every police department in the country. Such a great community-building tool, and a great way to recycle books I have already read!

2 Mary497

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In January of 2015, I had never heard of Little Free Libraries. Then I came across a picture of a Little Free Library on facebook, so I did a little free Googling and found this incredible organization. Here we are in March of 2017 and my Community of 30,000 amazing, generous, kind and dedicated people now has more than 80 chartered Little Free Libraries in our little 5 square mile city. The Little Free Library organization (which we refer to as our Mothership) has been truly inspirational, ridiculously supportive, helpful in the extreme and a big part of why we are so close to achieving our goal of having a Little Free Library within safe and easy walking distance of every Neighbor in Lake Worth, Florida.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2013 my husband built me a book exchange to share my extra books with the neighbors and friends, then we came across a Little Free Library and I did some research and decided I wanted to be part of this wonderful organization so I registered my Library got my charter number and became a part of this wonderful movement, also I was asked if I would be interested in volunteering by vetting stewards to the new Facebook page -I was just starting retirement and this was a great way to spend my time. Now I am part of the 50000 Little Free Libraries that are giving a sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults and libraries around the world .