Honey, I shrunk the library

We’re answering all the questions we’re sure you’ve wondered about the little book boxes you’ve seen on your neighborhood strolls.

A hand holding out a book in front of a Little Free Library

How many Little Free Libraries are in your neighborhood?

Photo by INDYtoday team

Table of Contents

You’ve seen those tiny, colorful, book-filled boxes posted up in a front yard or outside of a business, but have you ever wondered how they got there?

If you haven’t heard of Little Free Library before, it’s a nonprofit working to build community and create a love of reading by supporting neighborhood book exchanges all around the world. There are 150,000+ teeny libraries around the world, with more than 50 in Indy alone.

Who are they for?

Little Free Libraries are for everyone. The libraries’ aim is to service children and their families to help further education and support high school graduation status.

How do I get my own library?

There’s an app for that. If you’re looking to put one on your own property, you can build one yourself + register it or buy a kit or pre-built library from the Little Free Library’s website. If you’re unsure how to navigate HOA rules or municipal regulations, Little Free Library has you covered.

What kinds of books are in the libraries?

Because of its “Take a book, leave a book” policy, there’s a little bit of everything in these boxes, from old children’s book classics to how-to guides on website-building to the latest bestseller. However, Little Free Library has a goal of championing diverse books, so literature representing BIPOC and LGBTQ+ is encouraged. If you’re a “steward” (aka a registered library owner) there’s even a Steward Book Directory that gives access to free books from individuals + organizations worldwide.

You can use this map to find the Little Free Library closest to you.

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