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Adding Little Free Libraries

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Edited: Nov 19, 2013, 11:05am Top

Blog post: http://www.librarything.com/blogs/librarything/2013/11/littlelibraries/

So, let's discuss adding Little Free Libraries!

The Wiki page lists unclaimed countries and states that need your help, as well as some of the conventions we've used.

* Wiki page: http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/Little_Free_Libraries_Progress

See also:

* Talk topic: http://www.librarything.com/topic/161222
* Beta-group discussion: http://www.librarything.com/topic/160991

Nov 19, 2013, 11:16am Top

Can't you automatically import these from the KML file?


Nov 19, 2013, 11:22am Top

I know there are similar things in Vienna (Austria), but I don't know where or how to find out.

I also know a few bring one, take one libraries of English language books, but these are on the premises of organizations for there own members, and are not open to the general public. I assume that these should not be entered.

Nov 19, 2013, 11:27am Top

>2 markbarnes:

There are two problems. First, I'm not sure of the legality of it—both whether we can and what we'd be agreeing to. Second, it's designed to be icky to use. It's by coordinates, with address and so forth just in text fields. I also don't like importing all the personal info by default. I'm not sure what all the stewards would think of that.

I think this goes two ways:

1. LFL thinks what we're doing is great, and we share data and make everything completely awesome and free and shared.
2. They don't want to share data, so I write something to detect when new venues are added.

Nov 19, 2013, 2:16pm Top

Tim, there's a typo for my zip code, who can I contact to fix it? I don't see where I can do it myself. :(

Nov 19, 2013, 2:33pm Top

If you go to your local page, at the end of the line that starts Your Local there's a pencil icon. Click on that and you can edit both your public and private addresses.

Nov 19, 2013, 2:55pm Top

Thank you, jjwilson61. However, my location doesn't contain the typo. It's something that LT added:

"There are bo "Little Libraries" within 0 miles"

Note the "bo" instead of "no". I can't figure out how to fix it myself.

Nov 19, 2013, 3:32pm Top

8, that has nothing to do with 7

7, I told Tim about that in the BETA group, but ...

Nov 19, 2013, 3:37pm Top

Tim says he's fixing the "within 0 miles" thing. Did you think fuzzi's main complaint is the "bo" typo?

Nov 19, 2013, 3:40pm Top

Yes, since she said, "Note the "bo" instead of "no". I can't figure out how to fix it myself."

Nov 19, 2013, 3:40pm Top

#9 by Collectorator> 7, I told Tim about that in the BETA group, but ...

Are you sure you're not thinking of something else? There's only been one post in BETA since mid-October, and it's by Tim.

Nov 19, 2013, 3:42pm Top

And how would "bo" make her think that there was a typo in her zip code?

Nov 19, 2013, 3:45pm Top

There was a 200+ message thread in the BETA, which Tim has now moved to Talk about LT.

By "my zip code" she meant on the page she uses to look at the stuff in her zip code.

Nov 19, 2013, 3:48pm Top

Yeah, not "in my zip code" but "for my zip code".

Nov 19, 2013, 3:55pm Top

#1 by timspalding>

On your blog post page you have this link (http://www.librarything.com/local/little) for Little Free Libraries near you.

Right now this defaults to the location information in one's profile. However, sometimes we are away from home/office/location in profile.

Would you add some code so that if the same link was visited by a phone that it would make use of its location awareness?

I don't believe it is there now since I visited the link with my iPhone 4S iOS6 and I was not asked to share my location. This is an HTML5 thing but is not too hard to do from my reading on the topic.


Edited: Nov 19, 2013, 4:09pm Top

Sorry, I thought that when she said that there's a typo in her zip code she meant that there was something wrong with her zip code, not that there was a typo somewhere on the Local page.

Nov 19, 2013, 5:25pm Top

In the UK we have several book exchanges or libraries in disused telephone boxes. See http://xrisglmv14.blogspot.co.uk/p/list-of-phone-box-libraries.html
These could be added to your map too. I am happy to attempt this if someone explains how you want it done.

Nov 19, 2013, 8:29pm Top

There's no wrong way, really. Put "Phone box library" in the "other" box, and put the rest of the info in as you like. If you want a good name for the venues--and they don't have them themselves--say "Phone box library at X."

Nov 19, 2013, 9:45pm Top

> 19: Some of the Dutch "Minibiebs" are converted phone boxes too. Wonderful example of recycling.

Nov 19, 2013, 11:43pm Top

Apologies if this has been clearly stated and I missed it, but are you/we limiting ourselves to the "official" LFLs, or trying to list any and all of them? . . . We have dozens here in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN USA) but many were made by individuals for their yards & neighborhoods and aren't listed on any "official" list. Should I add them here?

Nov 19, 2013, 11:52pm Top

No, we are listing all of them.

What goes on LFLs maps I can't tell. It seems they have some unofficials, but they may merely have neglected to give charter numbers for some. SqueakyChu can perhaps tell us what she thinks.

Edited: Nov 20, 2013, 12:00am Top

Well, they do have a bunch of rules and hoops you have to jump through before you can be "officially certified and numbered" (and theoretically you have to have that to be on their maps). Most of my neighbors haven't been willing to agree to all the rules :)



Nov 20, 2013, 12:00am Top

Good. Let's become the true list.

Nov 20, 2013, 12:02am Top

Is LFL okay with us listing the unofficial ones? . . . they seem to be picky about the use of their registered trademark name . . .

Nov 20, 2013, 12:03am Top

>24 timspalding: Okay, I'll contact the LT person who is working on Minnesota.

Edited: Nov 20, 2013, 12:53am Top

> 22

Tim, is there a problem if we list a LFL, and it's not really an officially chartered LFL? I don't understand the legalese.

Do we need another category for LFLs that are not chartered/numbered? For example, we can use free book exchanges for those LFLs without charter numbers.

I'm really not sure of this. What do you think?

ETA: I changed my message entirely as I rethought this.

Nov 20, 2013, 12:42am Top

> 22

I would expect all of those LFL in the littlefreelibrary.org list to be chartered - whether or not they have numbers associated with them.

Nov 20, 2013, 12:44am Top

>27 SqueakyChu: Thanks, but I'm still concerned about having the unofficials listed under LFL® . . . I think that's exactly what they are trying to prevent when they talk about protecting their registered trademark name . . .

I wouldn't want to do all this work only to have them say "wait wait we thought you were abiding by our rules and protecting our name, take those others down or move them to another list" . . .

There actually is legal mumbo jumbo attached to all this (I know you have one registered, but not sure if you actually read the LFL "Terms Agreement" pdf).

I'm not a lawyer, but some of my best friends are lawyers and/or people with copyrights and trademarks :)

I want to see all little libraries listed, I'm just thinking that, legally, it might be best to separate or signify the official vs. the unofficial . . . but I leave it up to the people who are likely to get sued or complained to (and that's not me :)

Edited: Nov 20, 2013, 12:55am Top

> 29

I see your point, LucindaLibri. It makes sense.

Tim? Your thoughts?

Nov 20, 2013, 4:25am Top

How well can they protect a descriptive name like a little library that is free?

Nov 20, 2013, 7:08am Top

I feel like the worst case is that the name would have to be changed if they complain, to "small gratis library" or something similar.

Nov 20, 2013, 7:25am Top

(17) Sorry if I were unclear, jjwilson61.

I just wanted them to know about the "bo", so they could fix it. I didn't mean to complain.

Nov 20, 2013, 7:27am Top

(24) timspalding wrote Good. Let's become the true list.

Nov 20, 2013, 8:48am Top

21: We have dozens here in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN USA) but many were made by individuals for their yards & neighborhoods and aren't listed on any "official" list. Should I add them here?
I’d have reservations about this, especially if they are at residential addresses. People may be fine with the neighbors knowing about their library, but not so fine with the entire world knowing. One reason for not becoming an official LFL may be the $, but another reason may be concern about the map.

Nov 20, 2013, 9:02am Top

Good point, qebo. It would be different if those LFLs were on public property.

Nov 20, 2013, 9:31am Top

Tim, is there a problem if we list a LFL, and it's not really an officially chartered LFL? I don't understand the legalese.

I don't know. It seems that they have claimed many that aren't officially chartered, or at least ridden on a the trend they created. But there's some unclarity, for sure. I'll wait for them to demand we remove the name from the site for those that are not official. We can then change them to Free Little Library or whatever.

Nov 20, 2013, 9:32am Top

Sounds good. Thx!

Nov 20, 2013, 10:22am Top

Tim, could you respond to posts 35 & 36?

Nov 20, 2013, 10:27am Top

How long until a bad Other category (without any libraries in it) is removed from the list?


Nov 20, 2013, 10:31am Top

>35 qebo:-36

I don't know. If it's anywhere online, I think that's good enough. If it's not, I'm torn. Mostly I think that having a book shelf in your front yard is an invitation to have people know there's a bookshelf in your front yard. You can't control who drives down your street, which will, of course, include the Google car…

Nov 20, 2013, 10:34am Top

I find the red for fairs/festivals and the orange for LFL's pretty similar. Where I'm from we hardly have either, so they are far apart, and I keep mistaking one for the other. Why not a totally different color like purple?

Nov 20, 2013, 10:37am Top

41: I agree, if it's online already, it's fair game. If it's a business or other public place, it's OK. I have strong ethical reservations about elevating the "knowing" of a neighborhood residence to world-wide status. Once it's on the internet, it's a done deal, can't take it back. Some people may be happy to get on the map with LFL so backlogged. Other people may be alarmed.

Nov 20, 2013, 10:47am Top

If you know about it because it's in your neighbourhood, (how else can you know about it if it's not online), perhaps you can contact the owner of the property, or leave a little note in there about LT.

Nov 20, 2013, 10:48am Top

44: Yes, that seems like a friendly gesture, rather than a presumption.

Nov 20, 2013, 10:50am Top


Yeah, but someone was talking on another thread about attaching people's names to the listing, which is another matter. "LFL at 742 Evergreen Terrace" is IMO a different thing from "LFL at Homer Simpson's House." You could figure out who owns the house by digging through public records, but there's "Someone can figure this out" and "This is made easily searchable for the entire world". Just leave the names off and I think most people would be fine.

Nov 20, 2013, 10:56am Top

46: Per agreement in the BETA thread and on the wiki (http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/Little_Free_Libraries_Progress), names and contact info should not be entered, though with more people jumping in, that's getting lost. (And some people may be fine with names, and add it themselves.) Still makes me queasy to put addresses on an LT map without permission.

Nov 20, 2013, 3:21pm Top

Thanks all for the consideration.

Before I enter any of these unofficial neighborhood ones, I'll stroll around and give them a closer look and/or talk to the home/business owners. My guess is in most cases it is not about hiding from the internet, but (1) not being willing to agree to someone else's rules about how the library is to operate and/or (2) not wanting to bother with the "process" of registering . . . but I'll try to find out.

In terms of concerns about posting exact addresses, can the map handle something like "near 21st Ave and 34th Street" or 21XX 34th St? or are those not mapable?

Nov 20, 2013, 3:26pm Top

48: I've had a bunch where the address was "This Avenue & That Street" and they've mapped fine.

Nov 20, 2013, 3:53pm Top

#49 by qebo>

Right. This kind of address works with Google geolocation:

32nd St & Adams Ave, 92116
(The cross street at which the bookstore I managed was located in the 1990s).


The more approximate addresses in #48 seem like they could be an issue. One almost might want to use Google Street View to see if there was a drive by after the LFL was installed.


Nov 21, 2013, 10:14pm Top

>49 qebo:, 50 good ideas, thanks

I did check a few already via drive-by and noticed that several of them actually have the "official plaque" from LFL (even though they aren't yet on the "official map") . . . so I'll go by on foot and get the number (if it is on the sign) so that they can be included here.

Nov 21, 2013, 10:41pm Top

> 51

That's great, LucindaLibri. The LFL website is w-a-y backed up adding the LFLs because they're being data entered by relatively few volunteers in relation to the number of LFLs (which just keeps growing). By now, there should be about 10,000. The plaque comes fairly quickly in the mail. It's the mapping that takes the most time.

By the way...if you have a camera handy, feel free to take some LFL pictures and add them here on LT. We don't want to use photos taken by others (copyright issues), but there's nothing from preventing you (and other LT members) to add some pictures to the LFLs that we are adding to our LT data base. Thanks, in advance! :)

Nov 22, 2013, 6:17am Top

I've got it down to adding them in about 45 seconds flat. 11 in 8.5 minutes. My method is:

1. Use the left side of the Google Map.
2. Cut and paste the whole box into the "Description" box
3. Move stuff out into the others, cutting and pasting, although I sometimes do the city, state and zip retyping it, since that can be faster.

Nov 22, 2013, 6:28am Top

It turns out the KML export is only the first 1,000 data points--which gets us into Michigan. I poked around a bit and couldn't figure out how to export with an offset of 1,000, or whatever.

Edited: Nov 22, 2013, 6:32am Top

Never mind. I got it. &start=1000. That'll be a good way to check on this.

By the way, that also reveals there are a total of 2,676 plotted. So we've done 38% of them so far.

Edited: Nov 22, 2013, 8:24am Top

53: I don't trust my typing. Though the LFL data isn't flawless either.

A little thing that would be helpful: an Add Venue button (the submit button) at the top, or a short version of the form. Scrolling is a hand-cramping annoyance.

ETA: Ah. Enter will do it if I'm in the right place.

Nov 22, 2013, 9:23am Top

I spotted two of the same Little Library added. Can these be combined like other venues and such?

(Whirlwind Lane (I think) was added twice.)

Nov 22, 2013, 9:33am Top

57: You can delete the duplicate. This doesn’t actually delete it; it can be restored. Edit venue info, the link to delete is in the column on the right side.

http://www.librarything.com/local/helpers has a list of recently deleted so you can see what happens.

Make sure it really is a duplicate, has the same charter/steward #. Sometimes there are two on the same street or in the same building. If this is the case, you can edit the names, e.g. add #1 & #2.

Nov 22, 2013, 10:01am Top

> 55

By the way, that also reveals there are a total of 2,676 plotted. So we've done 38% of them so far.

Well, *that * is an interesting statistic. I'm glad I sent a letter of complaint to LFL about not being on their map. At, least they got to it within three months. It could have been three years! That said, at least they did admit publicly that they cannot keep up with the deluge of entries and are seeking a better way to handle it. They never did reply to my suggestion about using LT mapping technology in their blog (or even reply to me privately).

Nov 22, 2013, 10:10am Top

> 57

I agree with qebo. To delete duplicate LFLs is better than to combine them. Just choose the better entry of the two, and delete the one you consider less "worthy". :)

In addition, you may find some duplicate LFLs that have been "proposed" to be combined. Delete the duplicate of those as well. There are too many LFLs to be entered to wait around until duplicates are combined. We want the best, non-duplicating entries right away!

This doesn’t actually delete it; it can be restored. Edit venue info, the link to delete is in the column on the right side.

It does, however, create a better situation in that it allows only one entry (and not the "dupe") to show up on an LT member's My Local Page.

Ha! A Freudian slip (which I've already corrected). I'd been typing LFLs in this post as "LTLs." :)

Nov 22, 2013, 10:18am Top

I'll let you decide which to delete Squeaky. LFL # 4419 is entered twice. One has GPS coordinates, the other doesn't. Otherwise they look identical.

(I keep trying to type FTL...)

Nov 22, 2013, 10:43am Top

I'll have a new-Google-assisted way to do this up tonight. Sorry I couldn't finish it before I had to run off and grab Liam.

Nov 22, 2013, 10:46am Top

> 61

Gilroy, you pick. I trust you. There are too many to do to look back at those others have already worked.

Bottom line: we just need each venue to be listed only once. The rest is icing. We can later edit or add info to our heart's content.

Thanks for helping us out!

Edited: Nov 22, 2013, 10:47am Top

> 62

We may love LT, but our kids always come first!

Nov 22, 2013, 11:21am Top

Another idea...to make our entries less dry. :)

If you encounter a LFL Facebook page, add that link to your entry. In addition, look for relevant information therein to add to your LT entry.

Remember: Each LFL Facebook page is the individual steward's attempt to introduce their own LFL to the world at large and get more traffic to it.

Edited: Nov 22, 2013, 1:59pm Top

Tim, I had a Bookcrosser in Switzerland try to enter a venue (not a LFL, but something similar) only to have her frustrated by our directions. Can you help out with clearer directions on our page?

She said, "Well I tried, and I'm already stuck:" Select Little Libraries radio button" - what is that? where is it? I don't see anything (went into the map with alphabetical list). Just don't understand how to do this, can't see buttons or checkboxes on the list. Maybe I need to sleep on it.


I did explain to her that she had to click on "Little Libraries" to open other category listing.

Look at this. It's really interesting. These boxes are built by local public library systems.


It's in French so use a translator.

Nov 22, 2013, 1:57pm Top

Was she logged in?

Did she click on the Add Venue link above the map, below the chocolate bar?

Nov 22, 2013, 2:00pm Top

I have no idea. I presume she was logged in and just didn't know what a "Little Libraries radio button" was. I would have had no idea either, but I'm not afraid to push all kinds of buttons here at LT (if you get my drift). Heh!

Nov 22, 2013, 2:15pm Top

66: Oh, those are the instructions on the wiki page, which I wrote. I'm assuming that the person is already on the LT Local page and knows the gist of adding a venue. I'll add some steps...

Nov 22, 2013, 2:19pm Top

Thanks, qebo.

Nov 22, 2013, 2:29pm Top

70: OK, I added a line. I'm not adding more details re data entry, e.g. these are two different web sites, and data is being copied from one to the other. Or Tim's method of copying a block of data to the Description box, copying pieces to the appropriate fields, then erasing the block. People will develop their own efficiencies if they're entering lots. I'm supposing the wiki instructions to be primarily about what data to copy. Anyone who disagrees can edit the wiki accordingly...

Nov 22, 2013, 2:37pm Top

68: If there's a better term than "radio button", lemme know or edit the wiki page. It's the only selectable thing labeled "Little Libraries" on the add venue page, so I'd guess she wasn't there. But that wiki page is for LFL data, not for other little libraries.

Nov 22, 2013, 2:55pm Top

I was trying to get her to the "Other" button. I'll see if I hear back from her. I hope she's able to make the entries. I don't want to volunteer to do it because I want others to be able to know how to do it easily...so they'll continue adding venues as they find them.

If English is a second language, our terms may not be so easily understood by others.

Nov 22, 2013, 2:56pm Top

Here's my method for quick entry:

1. Tick-off the distinction, memorize and enter Charter #.

2. Copy Little Free Library at/of in the "name" field.

3. Copy address from selected address into to both name and street address fields, making sure to quickly ctrl-backspace the state, country, and zip from the former.

4. Click-drag the state and zip from the street address

(5) Change country.

I've found this method very economical, provided that you get in the swing of things, and avoid making clerical mistakes. Watch out, too: LFL's google map has many duplicate entrees, which will turn up if you've gone into "factory line" mode, and don't pay attention. It happens to me on occasion, so I check for duplicates in the helper page.

Edited: Nov 22, 2013, 3:00pm Top

> 74

LFL's google map has many duplicate entrees,

I found that as well.

I am also taking the time to check for duplicate entries on LT itself before adding them. That takes a while, but I want to be sure the entries I do are unique.

Nov 22, 2013, 5:09pm Top

Not that I've bothered to read 74 of the 75 posts above, but I'm still puzzled:

The "Little Free Libraries Progress" wikipage ( http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/Little_Free_Libraries_Progress ) reports "Georgia - MDGentleReader done" (thank you, MDGentleReader!), but LT Local shows only one Little Free Libraries® within a 25-mile radius of me. And the one LFL that I've added thus far, found within a "certain" radius on the LFL map page ( http://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/ ), only shows up under "Other Little Libraries." There are oodles of LFL's in and around East Atlanta & Decatur, Georgia (the literati epicenters of the State).

Am I missing something, either about how much we have left to do -- or how to do it right?

Thanks for your time & troubles.

Nov 22, 2013, 5:19pm Top

Aha! I found the sub-type tic-box, so we now have TWO Little Free Libraries® within a 25-mile radius that includes East Atlanta & Decatur. One question down, one to go: Now LT Local shows two LFLs in the greater Atlanta vicinity, but the LFL map page ( http://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/ ) still shows ... well ... oodles. Pourquoi?

Nov 22, 2013, 5:24pm Top

Hmm, http://www.librarything.com/local_directory.php?subtype=1 shows only 2 LFL in Georgia... And LFL site indeed has a slew around Atlanta. So I'd think don't do anything just yet; ask MDGentleReader. Could've been missed, could be typos, she'll know what's what.

Nov 22, 2013, 6:49pm Top

> 78: Not just a slew -- oodles!

Nov 22, 2013, 6:55pm Top

79: For present purposes, more than two. :-)

Nov 23, 2013, 5:39am Top

Hi, i would like to add some free libraries. As i know they're not affiliated to LFL or BC.
Is there a default kind of little library ? Free Book Exchange ?
Should i add the real kind of little library : "La boite à lire" ?
If i do so, i will create a different kind of LL for each city or region :
La boite à lire in Bordeaux
Circul'ivre in Paris
Livres en Ballade in Switzerland
Livre-service in Québec

Nov 23, 2013, 5:55am Top

hmm, so far people have added different names for different sorts. Each time one enters a different Other type, it creates a new type for subsequent entries.

I guess we'll just have to see how many different ones result after a while, and if that needs any adjustment.

Edited: Nov 23, 2013, 7:55am Top

> 81

I was trying encourage someone to enter a few "Livres en Ballade" yesterday, but that person wasn't able to figure out how to complete the entry. Perhaps that was you?! :)

If there are several that you can group together. list them under "Other" and give the name (ex. Livres en Ballade).

If they are "stand-alone" book exchanges (not affiliated with any other group - ex. a book exchange in a coffee house) list them under Free Book Exchange.

If they are affiliated with the Little Free Library movement (littlefreelibrary.org), you may use a name in another language and list them under Little Free Library.

If a few are listed under the wrong category, it's very simple for someone to come along later and correct the entry. The most important task now is to collect the information and enter it.


Nov 23, 2013, 8:08am Top

> 83
It wasn't me, i've just seen your post for "Livres en ballade". But i'll try to add them too.

Nov 23, 2013, 8:10am Top

Ya, the most important thing is that you can go somewhere to bring a book/take a book. What it's names is not so important.

Edited: Nov 23, 2013, 10:14am Top

I've added my 20 "Boite à lire" in Bordeaux. \o/

Is there a place where we can list Little libraries to be added in LT.
I've found this wikipedia page for Germany : http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_öffentlicher_Bücherschränke

Edited: Nov 23, 2013, 10:34am Top

> 86

Very nice!

Here's where you can put that information:


Nov 23, 2013, 11:00am Top

Is there a default kind of little library ? Free Book Exchange ?

If it's a free book exchange, I'd put that. If it's just a small (but static) collection, I might just put nothing. You can, however, add whatever categories you want. Just do it once in "other" and it will be available as a category from then on.

list them under Free Book Exchange

How about we lower-case that, so it's clear it's a general thing, not a company or movement or product or something?

I've added my 20 "Boite à lire" in Bordeaux. o/

Is there a place where we can list Little libraries to be added in LT.
I've found this wikipedia page for Germany : http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_öffentlicher_Bücherschränke


I'm going to change that page to be all library types, not titled after just the LFLs.

Nov 23, 2013, 2:07pm Top

Here's a good example of the problem:

Small libraries grow in popularity
By Kathleen Burge | GLOBE STAFF AUGUST 25, 2013

He's not listed, neither is anything listed in Brookline or Somerville, two towns mentioned as having them. Did they all not apply? How can we add these people?

Edited: Nov 23, 2013, 2:44pm Top

Therein lies the problem. That was exactly the problem I described to you when we began this project. I was so excited about my LFL which was up and running in July (this year). I sent for my charter number right away. That came fairly quickly. As soon as I had the charter number sign*, my husband affixed it to our LFL, and I applied right away to be mapped so others could find it.

I waited...and waited...and waited...and sent an email of complaint...and waited...and created a Facebook page for my LFL...and waited...and asked you if I could post my LFL...as a "Library" venue on LT...and waited...and then I was mapped.

The bottom line is that, if there are about 10,000 LFL charters out there already, and only under 4,000 of them are mapped, the others cannot be located...

...unless they advertise themselves. :(

To answer your question, this is what I think:

1. Most people do apply as there are advantages to being a charter member.

2. We can only add these people at random as we find them (with all the information we need) ...unless we can get this information directly from LFL.org itself.

I see no other options.

*The picture of my LFL that you have on your blog post does not show my LFL with its charter sign affixed. You may want to change that picture for another one with its chart sign. I'll upload it to my LT picture gallery shortly.

Nov 23, 2013, 4:17pm Top

So, I think we add everything they've got, and then go looking.

Nov 23, 2013, 4:45pm Top


Nov 23, 2013, 5:05pm Top

Presumably LT members who have their own Little Free Libraries will put them up? I wonder how many of those there are?

Edited: Nov 23, 2013, 6:55pm Top

I seriously doubt if that many LT members are LFL stewards.

Tim, where do we go from here (meaning after all of our current data entry is done)?

Google is not a good source of LFL information. Facebook has some LFLs that we can pull up by entering numbers, but very few.

Nov 23, 2013, 7:51pm Top

89: I gather that you plan to add the ability to compare the content of the LFL KML file with what is already in LibraryThing, so presumably the KML can be downloaded periodically, and we can enter whatever’s new? The LFL people though are likely to fall further and further behind unless they devise a new system.

It doesn’t strike me as the end of civilization if LibraryThing doesn't map every LFL on earth. As I’ve said elsewhere, some people may prefer not to be mapped. LibraryThing now provides an opportunity to put yourself on the map. This didn’t exist until a week ago. Patience.

In addition to individual Facebook pages that SqueakyChu has been finding, there is a general Little Free Library Facebook page, which includes the request for mapping suggestions. This could be a way to spread the news of the LibraryThing map, or not, if there’s too much chance for antagonism.

BTW, I entered the LFL in the photo in the article, the one in Watertown, though obviously w/o a steward #. The ones in Chestnut Hill and Framingham were already in.

I’m willing to “go looking” on occasion, but this is unlikely to yield much.

Nov 23, 2013, 8:21pm Top

76> I only found 1 in Georgia. I'll take my name and the done off. It must be that weird non-alphabetical listing at the LFL website.

Nov 23, 2013, 9:25pm Top

> 96

Thanks, MDGentleReader, for re-entering the Wheaton, MD, LFL (again!). I didn't realize there were two of them! I'm taking Zoe and her fiancé to see them this Monday! :D

Edited: Nov 24, 2013, 8:16am Top

> 95

What is a KML? Is that a code for a program that picks out the add-ons to what we already have?

I had a post (a really nice one) on my LFL FB page today from Rick Brooks (co-founder of LFL). It was on a completely unrelated topic to what we're doing here. I don't want to antagonize anyone there because eventually I hope for their full cooperation with LT. I would rather *they* make the decision to send stewards to our map. I don't want it to look as if we're sabotaging their efforts. They have a full plate.

By the way, I think getting in now in accumulating the Little Libraries information is cutting edge. These things are booming while book stores and even larger libraries are closing. It'll be interesting to see when the interest in the "Littles" begins to wane, but I don't believe it will be any time soon.

Ever onward...

*raises fist in the air* :)

Nov 23, 2013, 10:03pm Top

97> I added more detailed info for the Dewey and Tenbrook ones. I had trouble finding them both today. The one in the children's garden could use some love in the form of books. I did leave a Little House in the Big Woods there today. It occurred to me that Book Thing would be a good place to pick up books for LFLs.

Edited: Nov 23, 2013, 10:17pm Top

> 99

I need children's books for my own LFL, but I'll bring a few for the LFL in the children's garden. I am going to specifically check out children's books at the Book Thing, but usually that's the category with the slimmest pickin's. Whenever we do book festivals, the kids' books are always the first to go.

The Book Thing is excellent for stocking LFLs, but I've been taking books from there for years already to use with BookCrossing.

Let me warn you about the LFL on Tenbrook. The steward has a stamp in her books that he or she wants them returned. I usually avoid that LFL for that reason.

We are soon going to get a third LFL in the Rockville area. It will be in Woodley Gardens. I'll post the information about it as soon as I get the details.

Check out the LFL on Westbury in Rockville. That's a nice one that's not too far from me.

...and, by the way, the Little Free Library of Windsor and Dewitt (in Alexandria) is also now an Ingress portal! :D

Nov 23, 2013, 11:30pm Top

I've added a sidebar showing who's done what: http://cl.ly/image/2E403Y192845

Edited: Nov 24, 2013, 7:41am Top

>89 timspalding:
I' ve added 29 Little Libraries around me. None is referenced on the LFL website. 20 are referenced on the city council website. I've to look for every city around, search on their websites , on news to find little libraries.
Little libraries are very successfull, almost each neighbourhood, each public park has one but there is no information about them.
Very soon LT will be the best database for Little libraries.

Nov 24, 2013, 8:38am Top

102> Very cool.

Nov 24, 2013, 9:46am Top

I have to share this one, because it's a really big little library :D


Nov 24, 2013, 9:54am Top

Awesome! I have to admit that I consider the standard format to be well, a little TOO little. This one is over the top :-).

Nov 25, 2013, 12:24am Top

I hesitate to suggestion this, but you seem to really want this project to succeed so why not.

LT might be a bit of a barrier to entry for people who are into LFLs but not LT. You could have a "reskinned" subsection of the website that shares the same back-end data and guts of the code. It would basically trick people into using LT without them realizing they were, to drop some psychological barriers that might be there. Of course, it could have the appropriate linkages to then gateway them into LT should they seek to go further.

Nov 26, 2013, 2:08pm Top

Official LFLs for America have made a lot of headway: I see that only Illinois and Michigan haven't been done or claimed!

Nov 26, 2013, 7:43pm Top

I'll do more, but probably not until the weekend.

Nov 29, 2013, 9:45pm Top

I have been totally unable to add LFLs today. I tried this morning and again now. The program gets stuck and doesn't seem to save. I log out of the Fast Adder without saving only to find I have two or three duplicate venues saved. Is this happening to anyone else?

Nov 29, 2013, 9:53pm Top

It was really slow this morning but did get through. I made a point of waiting patiently, not clicking again, but I ended up with duplicates. I thought they'd occurred with editing entries (in Pakistan) that weren't mapping, but maybe something else was going on. I haven't tried since then.

Nov 29, 2013, 10:49pm Top

It looks like what happened to me today was also happening with you. I'm going to hold off adding entries in the meantime.

Nov 30, 2013, 2:42pm Top

Something of the sort also happened to me, since there is a duplicate entry for a LFL near me--one enter by me, one not. But I swear when I was creating my entry, the other one wasn't present, so I'm not sure what happened there--it's unlikely we were each entering the listing of the same place at the same time. I don't know how to combine them or get rid of the duplicate, though.

Edited: Nov 30, 2013, 3:22pm Top

112: You can get rid of the duplicate by editing the one you want to delete, click "delete this venue" in the righthand column, and enter "duplicate" as the reason.

If they were entered by different people, I'd think more likely overlap in zealous data entering/editing, but maybe the volume is exposing weirdities in the system. I've been going through states to edit the most obvious problems (e.g. names w/ the city appended, states with USA appended, duplicates), and there are definitely cases where two people were entering data for the same state.

Dec 24, 2013, 9:30pm Top

So happy to see our Little Free Library in my "Local"section. We have even gotten a few publishers to send us seconds or discards for the library... and many neighbors and others continue to borrow and add books. Love it!

Dec 24, 2013, 9:45pm Top

I'm thrilled you're actually finding these Little Free Libraries on your own Local section. The more they're publicized, the more they will be used.

Which is your Little Free Library?

Feel free to edit your LFL entry to add information, add a picture, or update it. If you find other LFLs that are not listed, please add them as well.

Dec 26, 2013, 2:27pm Top

There was an article in the Providence Journal (Rhode Island) within the last 2 weeks about the Little Library on the East Side and the person who set it up.

Edited: Dec 26, 2013, 4:09pm Top

> 116

This was the article...

Chatterbox said she had been there in September or October and found it completely empty.

If anyone here visits it and finds it filled with books, please add a comment to this page on LT:


Alternatively, comments are helpful for all the Little Free Libraries if they deviate from what one might expect (e.g. they are missing entirely, they are empty, they are not waterproof, they only have one type of book). I've found such LFLs in my visits to different ones. I'd like to give visitors a heads up so they're not disappointed on their visit. If a LFL is really entirely missing, please mark it "defunct". Thanks!

Apr 15, 2016, 11:18am Top

Just realized that none of the LFL or Other Little Libraries in my neighborhood have been entered.

I'm vaguely remembering this project, that someone else was doing Minnesota . . . but I can't remember who that was or which thread that was on . . .
And there was some outside source (?google? that was being used) . . . sorry to be so fuzzy.

This morning I learned that one of my neighbors (who happened to have a LFL) died suddenly . . . and at the same time I am donating some books to another LFL in the neighborhood . . . which is how this all came to mind and made me look . . .

Friendly reminders of how this was working appreciated.

Edited: Apr 15, 2016, 11:36am Top

>119 LucindaLibri: Please add the other LFLs in your neighborhood to LibraryThing Local if you have the inclination to do so. It adds good information to LibraryThing.

Tim never got back to this project ever again (sound familiar?), so I gave up on working on any area but my own. I use my own LFL local information from here on LT a lot!

You can also use the map at littlefreelibrary.org

Another good source to locate LFLs is this one, privately made:

Apr 15, 2016, 11:27am Top

>119 LucindaLibri: I'm so sorry to hear about your neighbor.

The Little Free Library project has an interactive (if slow) map here: https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/. I found that searching by country, even though enabled, frequently returns an error, but searching by zipcode has worked pretty well.

A quick Google search led me to this map, as well: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=z3sP5S9AWUok.k4UiGIn-oyX8&hl=en, though I don't see any info on how recently that one was updated.

Edited: Apr 15, 2016, 11:34am Top

>121 lorannen: Both of those maps are impossible to use! First of all, they can't be printed. Second of all, they move all around so much that it's hard to keep the information still when you need it.

Until recently, I was using the LibraryThing Readar app which worked perfectly with the information I entered onto LibraryThing. Now the second source I mentioned in message #120 works even better (it's excellent, in fact) , but it does not contain all of the LFLs.

Edited: Apr 15, 2016, 11:53am Top

My local LFLs don't appear on any of the official maps that I've found. Lots of rebels here so most likely they weren't willing to do the "official registration" thing . . . I'll check that private locator listed in >120 SqueakyChu:


BTW, my zip is 55407, so if you have a souce that shows any little libs there, do let me know. Still trying to remember the LT person who was very quickly adding all the MN libraries . . . I'll have to see if there's anything in my message/mail archive.

Update: Found 1 of our LLs listed . . . so I guess it is up to me to add to the list! :) Now that the weather is nice I will try to go gather the exact addresses.

Apr 15, 2016, 12:24pm Top

I've been adding MN LFLs in my neighborhood (Apple Valley) as I find them. I think I've added 3 or 4 so far. Just added one for the Apple Valley Culver's on Sunday. :)

Edited: Apr 15, 2016, 1:23pm Top

>123 LucindaLibri: Lots of rebels here so most likely they weren't willing to do the "official registration" thing

That's not a problem here on LibraryThing. All "Little Libraries" can be listed here whether or not they are officially registered at the littlefreelibrary.org.

Edited: Apr 15, 2016, 1:31pm Top

>123 LucindaLibri:

This is what you get for your zip code and beyond here on LibraryThing:

These are only the first five:

Little Free Library at Little Brothers (1.0 miles)
1845 E. Lake Street, Corcoran, MN 55407 ‎

Little Free Library of Upstream Arts (1.4 miles)
Columbus Ave & 48th St, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Little Free Library #19048 (2.7 miles)
5522 Pleasant Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55419

Little Free Library #12263 (2.7 miles)
5618 Blaisdell, Minneapolis, MN

Little Free Library #6455 (2.8 miles)
5616 Pleasant Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55419

Edited: Apr 15, 2016, 1:33pm Top

>123 LucindaLibri:

I found these using the Little Library Locator (the second link I gave you). These are all in your zip code!

1. Little Free Library #3949 
Park Coop Apartments Minneapolis, MN 55407

2. Little Free Library #1356
3640 16th Ave. S Minneapolis, MN 55407

3. Little Free Library #2157
3701 17th Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55407

4. Little Free Library #6445 
3501 Chicago Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55407

5. Little Free Library #9456
3048 16th Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55407

6. Little Free Library #24677 

P.S. It's easy just to print this list and then add them to LT for you and others to use as a reference for later. Others can try to do the same thing for their own zip code or local area. I keep the addresses of all of my local LFLs on my GPS. :D

Apr 19, 2016, 12:23am Top

>125 SqueakyChu:, 126, 127

Thanks! yes, I knew that the "non-official" ones were okay here on LT, I was just indicating why the local ones probably wouldn't be on the official LFL lists

. . . and I have the entire list of MN data from the official LFL google map . . . but haven't compared it to what's here

in any case. Just driving home today I saw seven Little Libraries (didn't stop to look for official tags) . . . so I'll need to put a notepad in my car and start stopping each time I see one! :)

Apr 19, 2016, 9:01pm Top

>128 LucindaLibri: so I'll need to put a notepad in my car and start stopping each time I see one!

That sounds like a brilliant idea to me!

My fellow Bookcrossers are so funny. They always immediately report when they find a new one. Someone found one today inside a grocery store and told me about it so I added it to LT Local...immediately! :D

Apr 21, 2016, 6:07pm Top

Apr 21, 2016, 6:41pm Top

>130 LucindaLibri:. ...and I visited it yesterday to check it out!

Aug 31, 2016, 1:05pm Top

I've been adding Little Free Libraries as I come across them over the past few years, but I happened to visit the official LFL map today and there are more than a dozen official LFLs in my city alone that have not been added to LT. Many of their serial numbers are well into the 20,000s. Yikes! So I guess that's a project for me to work on.

>120 SqueakyChu: I tried the second link you listed here, and I found it has been moved here: https://lfl.openwichita.com/

I'm having a few small issues:

1) The search only returns up to 20 items. There are zero LFLs within 1 mile of me, but well over 20 LFLs within 5 miles of me. I guess I'll just have to play around with the address I'm searching from and hope I don't miss anything.

2) In the "About" section, it says "Data for the locator was originally taken from the LFL World Map PDF (link to the LFL website). Update: The PDF is no longer available (7/7/2016)"
Does this mean this site is no longer updating as of July 7th?

3) There is a page on the site for adding a missing library. Does that mean there might be some LFLs that are listed on this site that are not on the Official LFL map?

(I've sent an email to the creator of the site with these same questions. I'll post again if/when they answer.)

Is anyone else still adding Little Free Libraries on a more than occasional basis? Is manually still the best way to do it? Are there any other lists, resources, or helpful tips, especially now that the total number of LFLs is so much larger? Might it be worth erasing all the "done"s from the wiki page (http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/Little_Free_Libraries_Progress) and start over since the number of Official LFLs has more than doubled since the initial adding?

I still *love* having all of the LFLs on LibraryThing Local and I reference it often, both when traveling and in my local area.

Edited: Aug 31, 2016, 1:38pm Top

>132 norabelle414: I was going to say that the numbers are approaching 40,000. Then I checked the LFL map for recent additions to my city, and there's one over 44,000. I add them to LibraryThing when I encounter them. There are several within walking distance of me that aren't on the LFL map.

Aug 31, 2016, 1:37pm Top

There's one in walking distance of my place that doesn't appear on the LFL map or the google map. I should add it to LT soon.

Aug 31, 2016, 2:12pm Top

>133 qebo: I keep running into that, as well. Many in my neighborhood that aren't on the LFL's official map, too.

Edited: Aug 31, 2016, 2:21pm Top

>132 norabelle414: It's humanly impossible for one person to do all of those entries, and Tim never came back to this project here on LT. I think LFL might have had problems with LT scraping their data. I don't know for sure. What I've been doing is adding all the ones in my area to LT so I can pick them up on the LT app Readar when I'm driving around.

1) Serial numbers are well beyond 35,000 (probably at least 40,000) now, but many of them have not yet made it onto LFL's online map (which is basically useless).

I think the problem is that there is not an app directly from LFL. The openwitchita locator is just one person who wanted the information from the LFL map in usable form. It does not include all LFLs, although it is usable as an app. You are likely to miss LFLs with that witchita app, but that's about the best you can hope for now.

2) I can't even open the openwitchita locator. Again, I think it has to do with LFL not wanting others scraping their data.

3. Yes. There are LFLs missing from the openwitchita locator.

4. I add LFLs as I find them. One time, I was adding most of those closest to me, but it was too much work to add so many. Now I add those that are in areas I visit or am likely to visit. Do that, and you'll find less work and more fun for your trouble.

5. I add mine manually and even try to post pictures of those I visit. I also add remarks which might be helpful for other visitors.

6. In all honesty, I don't believe this is high on the list of Tim's priorities for now (or forever!) so the best thing to do is work on your own local area, stretching as far as you can. Others can do this as well.

7. I also use LT's Local for LFLs which comes across on LT's Readar app. It's so easy to use.

Edited: Aug 31, 2016, 2:23pm Top

>135 lorannen: How do you think we can add the extraordinary number of LFLs that are not on LT's database at this time to LT Local?

Edited: Aug 31, 2016, 2:30pm Top

By the way, Tod Boll, founder of Little Free Library, will be at the National Book Festival again this year. Maybe someone who is going can talk to him directly. I tried to find him last year and couldn't. If I see him this year, I'll try to ask about getting the information on LT - to which he'll probably say no...but I can at least try...or maybe lorannen has more pull and can contact him directly. :D

Aug 31, 2016, 4:23pm Top

>138 SqueakyChu: I hope you find him this year!

Aug 31, 2016, 5:01pm Top

>139 qebo: I'll look, but not too hard. Truth being told, I was much more excited to meet Tim than I am to meet Todd Bol.

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