Little Free Libraries

Little Free Library in West Allis Photo Opens in new windowLittle Free Library ® is a Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. (Recent congratulations goes out to the East Allis Neighborhood Association for winning an AARP Wisconsin Small Business, Small Dollar grant for 15 new Little Libraries! Read more about the proposal and grant (PDF)).

Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Donate books, or take a book with you to enjoy. When you're finished, return the book - and perhaps a few gently used additional books - to any Little Free Library.

Little Free Libraries are established throughout West Allis, at businesses, in neighborhoods, and even at City Hall! We encourage residents and businesses to create more Libraries to help their neighbors connect with good books and each other.

Permitting is not required to establish a Little Free Library on a residential property. Special permitting may be needed if the planned Little Free Library location is on a city right-of-way.

Little Free Library FAQ

1. I would like to start a Little Free Library. What do I do?

Little Free Library website offers numerous resources and even building kits to get your Little Free Library up and running. Residents, organizations, and businesses may all create Little Free Libraries.

2. What if someone vandalizes my library?

The Little Free Library website notes: We have found that small incidents of vandalism are common. Things like having a guest book stolen or a few books damaged are going to happen at one point or another. Bigger problems, like having all of your books "stolen" or the entire Library damaged, are much less common.

If you are anxious, put the Library in a highly visible spot with lots of lights. Consider installing the Library on a mobile platform so that you can wheel it closer to your home or indoors at night. Have many people using it and looking out for it. If something does happen, alert the local authorities. 

3. How can I find a Little Free Library in my neighborhood?

A searchable map is available at the Little Free Library website. Note that an official Little Free Library must register to be on this map (fees apply), and registered Little Free Library owners must choose to share their locations on this map. Some owners do not wish to share their locations on this map, and therefore are not listed.

Little Free Library Photo in West Allis4. Do I have to register my Little Free Library?

No. You do not have to register with the City or Little Free Library. However, in order to use any official Little Free Library logos or signage, or have your library listed on their searchable map, you must register on their website (fees apply).

5. My home/business/organization has a library - how can we register to be on Little Free Library's website map?

Visit the Little Free Library website to get started. Fees apply.

6. How does a Little Free Library work if I want to take books from it?

Step right up and help yourself! Take a book or two home with you to enjoy. When you're finished, return the books you borrowed or keep them and donate some other gently-used books other readers would enjoy. Little Free Libraries operate on an honor system. Take books and leave books as you can.

7. There is a Little Free Library in my neighborhood, but it's empty. What can I do?

Ideally a person or group will "own" the Library and make sure it's clean and well-stocked. But if your neighborhood Little Free Library is in need of a refill on books, go for it! Feel free to bring your gently-used books or magazines to help fill it up.

Download our Little Free Libraries Brochure (PDF).