Little Free Libraries

Little Free Library image - courtesy of Kate Bradshaw, Menlo Park Almanac News
Little Free Libraries are “take a book, return a book” free book exchanges popularized by the nonprofit organization Little Free Library. They typically take the form of a small wooden box of books mounted on a post in front of a home or business where passersby can easily access the books. The vast majority are maintained by sponsoring community members sometimes referred to as “stewards.”

Studies have consistently shown that young children who have access to books in the home achieve markedly higher literacy levels later in life. According to the Children’s Literacy Foundation, 61% of low-income families do not have age-appropriate books in their homes. Increasing access to books and encouraging a lifelong love of reading, especially among children, are core values of Menlo Park Library and our nonprofit partners.

Program details


The Menlo Park Little Free Library Incentive Program is designed to encourage Menlo Park residents to install and maintain Little Free Libraries on their properties by providing financial incentives (mini-grants) that will cover 100 percent of the upfront purchase and installation costs at no charge to the property owner. In exchange, participating property owners will be required to sign a written pledge to keep the Little Free Library on their property, curate its book collection and keep the Little Free Library in good condition.