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10 Little Facts About Little Free Libraries

You’ve likely seen them before—those little, often colorful, book-sharing boxes dotting the perimeters of parks, playgrounds, and private front yards. These are Little Free Libraries, a phenomenon that began in 2009 and is now present in roughly 100 countries all over the world.

Little Free Libraries exist so that people may take a book and share a book in return. You probably knew that, but did you know these 10 little facts about Little Free Libraries?

1. The first Little Free Library was created as a memorial.

The first Little Free Library (LFL) was built by Todd H. Bol in 2009 in Hudson, Wisconsin, in the shape of a little red schoolhouse, as a tribute to his late mother, a former schoolteacher and avid reader.

2. Frankenmuth gained 3 additional Little Free Libraries in May!

At least three Little Free Libraries popped up around town last month. There’s a little blue library on Beyerlein Street, another at the corner of Sunburst and Vates, and a third on the south side of the Wickson Memorial Library. The Library’s LFL was made possible through memorial donations in honor of Larry Coopes.

3. There are 3 Little Free Libraries for every public library in the United States.

According to American Library Association, Little Free Libraries outnumber public libraries three to one. Little Free Libraries, while much smaller than their public counterparts, tend to complement and increase existing library offerings as they reach farther into the community. No library cards, due dates, or fines!

4. Not all Little Free Libraries stand still.

Little Free Libraries have been used on public transportation, wheeled from classroom to classroom in elementary schools, pulled in little red wagons, and mounted on tandem bikes!

5. Ready-To-Assemble Little Free Library Kits are a thing!

Do you want a Little Free Library in your yard but aren’t sure how to build one yourself? The Little Free Library Association has ready-to-assemble kits that can be made in less than one hour. Complete with step-by-instructions, pre-cut pieces, and all necessary hardware, all you need is a drill. All library models are weather-resistant, long-lasting, and handcrafted in America. Visit to get started.

6. Many Little Free Libraries are made by the Amish. When you purchase a Little Free Library from the LFL nonprofit organization’s online store, chances are it was created by an Amish craftsperson in the Upper Midwest.

7. There are Little Free Libraries in all 50 states, in 91 countries, and on all but one continent. Every month, more and more Little Free Libraries pop up. They’ve managed to reach a few far-flung places on our planet, but have yet to arrive in Antarctica.

8. Registered libraries have an official charter sign and charter number. Anyone can set up a book-sharing box and call it a Little Free Library, but did you know there’s an official registration process? Downloading the Little Free Library App allows you to see the exact location of all registered Little Free Libraries in the world.

9. Little Free Libraries are often made with recycled and reclaimed materials. Last month, the Frankenmuth News highlighted a LFL on Beyerlein Street made from an old newspaper box. Did you know that there are also Little Free Libraries made from old cupboards or cabinets, renovated telephone booths, broken microwave ovens, mini fridges, dollhouses, vintage bread boxes, old pinball machines, and even a 110-year-old hollowed out tree trunk?

10. They were almost called something else! When Todd H. Bol was in the early stages of constructing his Little Free Library, he considered calling them “Habitat for the Humanities” or “Box of Magic.”

Well, there you have it. 10 little facts about Little Free Libraries. If you’re looking for a fun summer activity, gather up some ready-to-share books and consider walking or biking to each of the Little Free Libraries in town. You might even feel inspired to design, build, and register one of your own.

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