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