Little Free Library — Have You Visited One Yet?


Little Free Library NashvilleMomsBlog

There is something truly special and unique about Nashville and the neighborhoods and communities that make up this vibrant city. One of the phenomenons that is happening in our neighborhoods, and in other neighborhoods around the country, is the addition of Little Free Libraries. LFL began as a grassroots project by a Wisconsin native who built a model little red schoolhouse and filled it with books in honor and tribute to his mother—a former school teacher and avid reader—and placed it in his front yard with a sign that read “Free Books.” His friends and friends of friends loved the idea, so he began making and giving away the school house book boxes.

First Library

The idea is simple: promoting literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges. Need a book? Take a book! Have a book? Give a book! Beyond the obvious literacy element, this project is promoting and building a sense of community in neighborhoods around the globe.


The Little Free Library boxes are popping up all around Nashville. From Belle Meade to Inglewood, Hillsboro Village to Woodbine—and everywhere in between—you’ll see the adorable boxes on the side of the road. The Libraries vary in style and design from simple and unpainted to elaborately decorated. I’ve even seen one with a bin filled with dog treats! Although you aren’t required to register your Library with Little Free Library, if you chose to do so, your Library location will appear on the official locations map, and you’ll also receive a packet that includes insider tips, resources, a metal plate to adhere to your Library, and more information from the non-profit organization.


A few FAQs on Little Free Libraries:

What ‘s so special about having an official Little Free Library?

If this were just about providing free books on a shelf, the whole idea might disappear after a few months. Little Free Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch, and there is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community. These aren’t just any old books, this is a carefully curated collection, and the Library itself is a piece of neighborhood art!

What costs are there associated with starting a Little Free Library?

That depends on whether your are building your own Library or buying one.

  • If you are building your own Library, then you need to factor in the cost of materials, which can be anywhere from $15 to $150—depending on your choice of materials. There is also a one-time payment of about $35 per Library to receive a steward’s packet of support materials and 1 official charter sign and number for your Library. Your charter sign and number will let you proudly display that your Library is an official member of the worldwide network. Plus, your charter number is the key to putting your Library on the World Map. You will also want to factor in installation costs (wooden post, mounting sleeve, hardware, etc.) which are usually around $30.
  • If you purchase a Library through the LFL website, then a steward’s packet and 1 official charter sign are included in the purchase price; there is no need to purchase those separately. You will, however, need to factor in installation costs.

Does a Little Free Library have to be outdoors?

Absolutely not. There are no rules regarding where you may install a Little Free Library (just be sure to check with the landowner before installing them wherever you please). Many Libraries are outdoors, but yours could be a bookcase in a coffee shop, a wicker basket in an office waiting room, or a cute wooden box in the lobby of your apartment building.

I want to put a Library in my neighborhood, but there is already one nearby. Can Little Free Library book exchanges be too close together?

Little Free Library book exchanges cannot be too close together. There are Libraries located right next to each other that are both successful. Every community has diverse interests and every Little Free Library provides different types of books. As long as you’re prepared to take care of your Library—keeping it stocked and clean and open for business—go for it!
Final LFL logo Image full size
For more information on Little Free Libraries and ideas and tips on starting your own LFL, visit!
Previous articleIce Day at Nashville Zoo! (and a DIY Ice Treat Idea for Your Pets)
Next articleFive Tips for Increasing Milk Supply
Elizabeth is an Alabama born and bred girl that transplanted to Nashville in 2000—one week after graduating from The University of Alabama with a degree in Finance and Economics. She received an MBA from Belmont University and worked as a Corporate Banker until she retired in 2008. Thinking that staying home with her young daughter would be a dream, she spent 2 horrendous months as a stay-at-home mom until she excitedly went back to work as the Director of Admissions at an independent elementary school. (She swears you can still see the claw marks around the front door from where she was trying to escape her house during those brutal two months.) Elizabeth is married to David, and they are parents to spunky and creative 7 year old Larkin and calm and Star Wars-obsessed 4 year old Henry. They love to travel as a couple and as a family and continuously dream of where the next plane will take them. As much as she loves traveling, she also loves laying in a hammock in her West Nashville back yard with a good book and a cold craft beer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here