My Little Free Library

Updated on October 11, 2017
Source

Introduction

Ever since I started to see little free libraries popping up in my neighborhood, I’ve wanted one for my yard. Not only is it a great way to share books with others, but it’s a way to unload excess books that I’d like to get rid of. My little free library has been a big hit in my neighborhood, and the neighbors have had a lot of questions about how to install one of their own. Here’s how I did it…

Source

Purchasing Materials

My first step was to do a little research. After doing a simple Google search, I discovered the Little Free Library website: www.littlefreelibrary.org. This is a non-profit organization that helps both individuals and groups purchase, install, and market their libraries all over the world. They have units for sale and also provide plaques with individual charter numbers for each library to make them easy to locate. I shopped around for units before deciding to buy mine from Etsy. It was cheaper, my desired size, and already assembled by a professional (whose Etsy page has disappeared so I can’t share the site with you) so I knew that it would be sturdy and waterproof. Mine cost less than $200.00 with shipping, but they can run anywhere from $150.00 to well over $1,000.00 depending on the size, shape, and paint job.

Most libraries come pre-assembled, but The Little Free Library site does have a box available to purchase that you can build yourself. I considered this option but was worried about the quality of the craftsmanship. So, I decided not to take my chances. While the ground was still frozen, my little free library arrived in the mail. So, I got to work gathering the materials I would need to install it.

The Etsy box came with all of the hardware and pre-drilled holes that I needed to install it, but it did not come with a post. So, I had to pick one up at Lowes. I also bought it unfinished. I was originally considering staining the wood a bright color to make it stand it out. Then, I found a small can of outdoor furniture paint in the clearance section at Lowes and decided that would be my color. Armed with some paint brushes and drop cloths, by the time the weather broke, I was ready to paint.

Source

Painting

Painting took several coats and several days. In my spare room with the windows and doors open for ventilation, I applied three to four layers to the library. The problem with being assembled already was that it was hard to paint around the hinges, knob, and glass without missing a spot or hitting metal or glass. So, some extra small brushes were needed along with some strange painting angles to make sure that I hit every visible area. I decided to paint my post the same color as my library so that took some extra time since the post needed to be rotated after a few coats on each side.

Afterward, I sprayed it with some outdoor wood protector, but it was still wet after two days, and I did have to touch up my paint after I installed my library which defeated the purpose of spraying. So, I would recommend installing your library before applying any kind of polyurethane or wood protector.

Source

Installing

About a week after I began painting, my library was ready to install. My library came with installation instructions, and the Little Free Library website also has instructions for installation. So, using both sets of instructions and the help of my parents, we dug a hole in the desired spot in my yard. I live on a busy road with no sidewalk so I decided not to install my library in my front yard. I do live on a corner lot, however, so I decided to install it on my less busy side street where cars could stop safely. I also set it back in my yard a few feet so that pedestrians could look through the library without standing in the road.

The instructions said to dig a hole two feet deep. We dug down a little over a foot. It made the library sit higher up which is not ideal for children, but an average-sized woman has no problem reaching both shelves. Then, we cut the eight-foot post into a five-foot post using an electric saw that my neighbor had let me borrow for another project. The post was inserted into the hole in the ground, and the library was then fastened to the post on the base that was included with my library. We then used a level to make sure that it was straight and a hand tamper to secure the dirt around the library. Finally, I stocked it with old books: mostly middle grade and young adult novels as well as my self-published novels.

A few days later, my plaque arrived in the mail which I secured to the front of the library door with a drill and two screws. Then, I added more dirt and a bit of mulch around the post to help it stand out.

Source

Enjoying

Like I said, my library has been a big hit around the neighborhood. Readers come both by car and foot to look through the library, and they have already begun to take and leave books. They have a lot of questions regarding the rules, and basically, aside from common sense anti-vandalism, there are no rules. Some say they have been inspired to install one in their yards in order to get rid of their unwanted books. The project has surpassed my expectations already and has added a positive element to both my yard and to the neighborhood itself.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • lawrence01 profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 12 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

        What a great idea.

      • easylearningweb profile image

        Amelia Griggs 13 months ago

        This is adorable and helpful to local readers! Hats off to you for doing this and sharing books.

        I shared this on my Facebook page. :-)

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 13 months ago from The Caribbean

        What a great idea! I will think about this for my own yard. Thanks for the very helpful information.

      • zaton profile image

        Zaton-Taran 13 months ago from California

        I absolutely LOVE this idea. Reminds me of a time long gone by - insofar as most of the States is concerned...

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)