Little Free Library

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An outdoor cabinet for sharing favorite books

Overall dimensions: 231⁄2"w × 193⁄4"d × 401⁄2"h

The Little Free Library (LFL) concept is built on six little words: “Take a book. Return a book.” Despite, or maybe because of, the idea’s inherent simplicity, this grassroots initiative has been surprisingly successful. Since its start in 2009, more than 15,000 LFLs have been set up around the world.

This case is held together with pocket screws and dado joints, and decked out with trim–a perfect project to hone your skills, or to introduce woodworking to the next generation. But this project is more than just another box. When I had my students build libraries as part of my residential construction class, I was delighted to watch how the project connected the students to their communities. It was gratifying to see the pride they had in their libraries, as demonstrated by the extra time they freely gave to get them finished.

After you’ve picked a suitable outdoor spot, simply set up your library, and then stock it with the books you love and want to share. As your neighbors catch on, you’ll see the collection circulate. You may decide to serve as the de facto librarian, monitoring the collection, culling unpopular titles, and getting first pick of the best sellers.

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