Top 10 Reasons to Create Little Free Libraries in Your Community by Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan

We often support schools and communities with promoting summer reading.  We want students to continue their “readerly lives” over the summer.  A few years ago, we were researching ideas to get books to students in different communities and we came across Little Free Libraries.   We immediately feel in love!  We were so enamored by this idea we decided we had to give it a try ourselves.  We put a Little Free Library in Tammy’s yard.


Tammylittle free library


After several years of having a Little Free Library in Tammy’s yard, here are our top 10 Reasons why we plan to create more Little Free Libraries.


  1. Share Your Books – If you are like us, you have books sitting on your shelves collecting dust. Instead of dusting, share your books with your community.




  1. Meet Your Neighbors – I can’t tell you how many neighbors I have met thanks to the Little Free Library. Parents wheeling baby strollers, grandparents talking walks with their grandchildren, people stopping their cars to ask, “What is that in your yard?”   Our little free library is filled with children’s books so I now know more kids and caregivers who live near me.




  1. Build a Literacy Friendly Neighborhood – You know your Little Free Library is working when you come home from work and a few children are sitting and reading in a rocking chair near the Little Free Library.




  1. Learn About New Books – Every time I open The Little Free Library there are books that someone else has left. Finding a new book in the library lets me know that the love of reading is spreading around the neighborhood.




  1. Smile More – There is nothing like pulling into driveway after a day at work and seeing a child taking a book from the library. You know that even when you were away, the library was doing its work – connecting readers and books.




  1. Spread the News – Every few months we add new books and send out a Facebook message to the neighborhood. Each time we post a few more people learn about Little Free Libraries.




  1. Create a Project – You can purchase or build your own Little Free Library.   What a wonderful event for parent teacher organizations, youth groups, clubs, families and even a reading conference.  At NCTE last year, educators from across the globe built several Little Free Libraries right in the exhibit hall.





  1. Receive Messages from Readers – Readers leave notes in the Little Free Library asking for books – Do you have any more graphic novels? I really liked Paper Things.  Do you have any more books like that?  These notes just make my day!






  1. Add Yourself to the Map: Join the Little Free Library Community and put your library on the map – Our dot is right there in Lexington, Massachusetts.


map little free libraries


  1. Get Books in Readers’ Hands: As Donalyn Miller writers, “Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education.” The more books available to children, the more lives we can change.






We have loved it so much that this year we are putting one in Clare’s yard.  Consider creating one in your community or contribute to this important cause by donating and becoming a friend of Little Free Library.


Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan currently lead Teachers for Teachers. They provide professional development to several districts as external staff developers. Tammy and Clare are the authors of Assessment in Perspective: Focusing on the Reader Behind the Numbers. You can find them on Twitter as @clareandtammy and online at