Little Free Library


Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that helps people share books. It usually does this by using public bookcases. The organization works to make books more available to many kinds of readers.[5]

Little Free Library Ltd.
A Little Free Library
Founded2009 (2009)
FounderTodd Bol
Type501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
PurposeTo inspire a love of reading, build community, and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.[2]
HeadquartersHudson, Wisconsin
Coordinates44°59′31″N 92°41′11″W / 44.9920°N 92.6863°W / 44.9920; -92.6863
Monnie McMahon[3]
Revenue (2016)
Expenses (2016)$1,049,926[4]
Employees (2016)
Volunteers (2016)

There are more than 90,000 Little Free Library locations registered with the organization. They are in 91 countries. Millions of books are exchanged each year through these libraries.

Little Free Library is based in Hudson, Wisconsin, United States.[6] It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

History change

Little Free Library in a Tokyo Metro station

The first Little Free Library was built in 2009 in Hudson, Wisconsin. It was built by Todd Bol.[7] Bol put a wooden container on a post on his lawn and filled it with books. It was designed to look like a one-room schoolhouse. The library was to honor his mother. His mother was a school teacher who had recently died and she loved books.[8] Bol and his partner built and installed more of the libraries in different areas of the Midwestern United States.[8]

Little Free Library became an incorporated nonprofit organization on May 16, 2012.[9] The Internal Revenue Service recognized Little Free Library as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization later that year.[10][11]

Bol originally wanted to create 2,510 Little Free Libraries. That is more than the number of libraries founded by Andrew Carnegie. The goal was met in 2012.[12]

Little Free Libraries were also built in other countries. By November 2016, there were 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries in 85 countries.[8][13] Margret Aldrich wrote The Little Free Library Book about them.[14] In August 2019, there were more than 90,000 Little Free Libraries in 91 countries around the world.[15]

Legacy and honors change

The Little Free Library nonprofit has been honored by the National Book Foundation, the Library of Congress, Library Journal, and others for its work promoting literacy and a love of reading.[12]

The Little Free Library organization has donated book exchanges through their Impact Library Program. It created a reading program called the Action Book Club. The program combines reading with community service.[16][17]

How it works change

A Little Free Library in Newfoundland and Labrador

At a Little Free Library location, a person can take a book to read or leave one for someone else to find. Volunteers build, install, and take care of the boxes.

A Little Free Library in London, showing an official Little Free Library sign

For a book exchange box to be registered and legally use the Little Free Library brand, the volunteer must do one of three things:[18][19]

  • Buy a finished box, or
  • Buy the materials to make the box, or
  • For a DIY box, get a sign which contains the "Little Free Library" text and official charter number

Registered Little Free Libraries can appear on the Little Free Library World Map. That map lists the libraries with GPS coordinates and other information.[20]

There are Little Free Libraries in many shapes and sizes. Some are small, brightly painted wooden houses. One is a larger library that looks like Doctor Who's TARDIS.[20][21][22]

Related pages change

References change

  1. "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Little Free Library Ltd. Guidestar. December 31, 2015.
  2. "Little Free Library". Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  3. "People of Little Free Library". Little Free Library. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Little Free Library Ltd. Guidestar. December 31, 2016.
  5. Shachar, Noah (August 16, 2018). "Little Free Libraries Thrive in Santa Barbara". Santa Barbara Independent.
  6. "About Little Free Library". Little Free Library. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  7. Ross, Jenna (October 18, 2018). "After terminal cancer diagnosis, Little Free Library founder feels like 'the most successful person I know'". Star Tribune. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Kelly, Mary Louise (October 19, 2018). "Little Free Library Creator Todd Bol Dies". All Things Considered. National Public Radio.
  9. "Little Free Library, Ltd." Corporate Records. Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  10. "Little Free Library Ltd". Guidestar. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  11. "History of Little Free Library Archived 2022-04-06 at the Wayback Machine". Little Free Library. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Little Free Library Milestones Archived 2022-07-22 at the Wayback Machine", Little Free Library, Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  13. Aldrich, Margaret. "Big Little Milestone: There Are Now 50,000 Little Free Libraries Worldwide". Book Riot. November 7, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  14. Aldrich, Margaret. The Little Free Library Book. Coffee House Press. ISBN 978-1566894074. April 14, 2015.
  15. Ross, Jenna (October 18, 2018). "Todd Bol, creator of the Little Free Library, dies at 62". Star Tribune.
  16. "About the Impact Fund". Little Free Library.
  17. "Action Book Club". Little Free Library.
  18. "Registration Process". Little Free Library.
  19. Ellis, Rahema May 1, 2012). "Using Books to Build Community". The Daily Nightly. MSNBC. Archived from the original on May 1, 2012.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Durst, Kristen (7 March 2012). "'Little Free Libraries' Hope For Lending Revolution". All Things Considered. National Public Radio. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  21. Turner, Brodie. "Little Free Library: How a Loving Tribute Became a Worldwide Sensation". Good News Shared. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  22. Ford, Dick. "The Mize Tardis". Mize City Library (Mize, Mississippi). Instagram. January 4, 2016.

Other websites change