The Mermaid's Tale

get hooked on reading

Start a Little Free Library

start a Little Free Library
One great way to promote literacy in your area is open a Little Free Library of your own in your front garden or other publicly-accessible place. Set up a protected container with books and watch people come to borrow. You might set out copies of some of your favourites, or focus your library on a particular theme.

What's a Little Free Library?

It's based on the old idea of "need a penny, take a penny". So -- need a book? Take a book. Have spare books? Make a book donation.

The library itself is free for use by anyone wandering past. A steward maintains each Library, and the library itself is generally placed in the steward's yard or (with permission) in a public place such as a nearby park.

How to set up a Little Free Library

Buy, build, or recycle?

You should decide up front if you want to build your own Library, upcycle something you already own, or have one constructed for you. It is probably most cost efficient to build your own from available plans, but you can hire an artist or woodworker build one for you. Try looking around for someone who sells a "yard library" or "sidewalk library" (generally looks a lot like a bird house). You also might check around for something you can work with to transform into a Library. For example, our Library is a recycled newspaper dispenser.

Library placement

It's best if the Library is accessible from the sidewalk rather than on your porch so more people will see it. Passers-by tend to be hesitant to invade private yards.

Get an official charter

Once you have the library unit, register your library with Little Free Library to receive an official charter number for your Library. A plaque with your unique charter number will be shipped to you. After you receive your charter plaque, attach it to your Library, log the number with the official site to get your Library on the map, and open for business.

Stocking your Little Free Library

You might need to seed it with books when it first opens, but if it's popular, you will have book donations. I suggest having a clearly marked lidded container for donations. Feel free to curate donations to "keep your theme" if necessary. You can always donate extras to other Libraries in the area.

Bonus features of a Little Free Library

It's a place for the community to use. Make it a fun, well-maintained place if your budget permits. Nice features depending on your budget might include:

The important thing is to make it uniquely yours.

Further reading

If you are interested in starting your own Little Free Library, you might enjoy this book:

Little Free Library: the book The Little Free Library Book by Margret Aldrich (Coffee House Press, 2005): An excellent inspirational guide to the Little Free Library phenomenon. It not only includes write-ups on several chartered Libraries, but there are how-tos about both starting and maintaining a Little Free Library in your area. This can be vital for those getting started in low-literacy areas.

This book can be difficult to find since it is out of print. Some great places to buy used books online include:

About Little Free Library #61951

Little Free Library #61951 on the map Charter #61951 is the Port of Call Little Free Library in Mount Juliet, TN. Our official Grand Opening was on 23 June 2018 in celebration of Pink Flamingo Day and the local Pride Day. Our charter number has been registered, and we are now on the map .

Come visit to get hooked on reading!

Our Little Free Library

Our library is a repurposed newspaper dispenser. It was purchased online, then cleaned and painted to order before being shipped to us.

Little Free Library #61951 If you are interested in doing something similar to create your own Little Free Library, the official Little Free Library has an article with instructions to using a newspaper vending box to make a Little Free Library.

Tip: The shop from which our library was purchased had recommended the use of the Rustoleum brand paints for this kind of DIY project if you wanted to make your own.

Our philosophy

The library is free for everyone's use. Our library books are always free, never for sale. Come on by to see if any books are of interest. We are looking to maintain a good selection of children's books to encourage children to develop a reading habit early on.

We have a nice paved area with a bench and solar lights for library use. Feel free to stop and read for a while when you visit.

When you're done reading a book that you have borrowed, feel free to keep it, return it here, or pass it along -- your choice.


Donations of readable copies of books and magazines are gladly accepted. The library's bench lid opens for storage. Please place all donations into the plastic bins within the bench to protect them from the weather.


Hey, we made the local news on 24 JUN 2018 :

Little Free Library #61951 Little Free Library #61951
Little Free Library #61951 Little Free Library #61951
Little Free Library #61951 Little Free Library #61951

Thank you for your support!

Start a Little Free Library today!

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