Sunday, 21 December 2014

Three more Little Free Libraries for London

Our latest Little Free Libraries were installed in Highams Park, London E4 on 19 December 2014. The official launch is today. Pop by and pick up a book. Happy reading!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Little Free Library just for children and young people

We'll be installing the first of our 'Just for Kids' Little Free Libraries in London on Friday 3rd October. Thanks to the Guardian Series for writing about the project. Read more here.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Two more Little Free Libraries for North East London

We've built two more Little Free Libraries for wonderful Walthamstow. The largest network of Little Free Libraries in the UK will soon be comprised of 14 LFLs in total.

The first, pictured above will be stocked with page turners for people of all ages, but the second below will be filled with books just for children and young people. Both Little Free Libraries will be installed on Wingfield Road.

We have worked with a fantastic artist, Emma Scutt, who added the beautifully engaging designs to both Little Free Libraries. Both LFLs were made possible by the support of the Wingdolph community (residents of Wingfield and Randolph Roads), who will be holding an official launch on Friday 3rd October to introduce the LFLs to the local community.

Take a look at the gallery of Walthamstow Little Free Libraries here. Happy reading!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Little Free Libraries and the promotion of free public art

“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.” Maria Montessori.

Books open us up to a world of imagination, but before a person chooses to pick up, open and read a book, they may need to be inspired to do so. If books are fuel for the imagination, then the places where the books reside should inspire us too. That's why all of our Little Free Libraries are decorated with vivid and engaging art.

As well as being free book sharing venues for communities, each Little Free Library is a one-of-kind piece of inspiring public art. We work with a hugely talented variety of artists, from traditional contemporary artists and book illustrators to street artists, tattoo artists and many more besides.

Below we feature some of our most recent Little Free Library creations and shine a light on the fantastic artists that helped turn each into a magical and inspiring art installation.

Gabriela Castellanos has worked with us to create two beautiful artworks. The first is installed on Garner Road in Walthamstow. Above, Gabriela adding colour to the second, Epping Forest themed Little Free Library, installed on Overton Drive in Wanstead.

Above: Oliver and Freddie celebrate after their Little Free Library is installed outside their home in Wanstead.

Above: The Urban Fox Little Free Library in Stoke Newington by Hannah Adamaszek. Hannah is well known within the street art scene for her female portraits, which have brought a painterly style often found within contemporary art. In 2013 she created a stunning urban fox mural as part of the Mural on the Marsh project in East London. She has now added her urban fox design to two of our LFLs, which have both become very popular. How could you walk past this without stopping to take a book?

Pictured above, the nature themed Little Free Library by artist Leticia Molera Vasquez (pictured right) and below at work in her tattoo studio.

Artist Emma Scutt worked with us on one of our very first Little Free Libraries, pictured below left. She has been a great supporter of our charity through her collaboration and has added her beautiful, engaging art to three Little Free Libraries.

Above right: Emma brings a night owl to life. Emma has created a wide range of stunning murals as part of her portfolio and her LFL designs now form permanent art installations for communities to enjoy. We'll be installing two Little Free Libraries on Wingfield Road in Walthamstow, London on Friday 3rd October. The first pictured above right and the second will be unveiled on Friday, which is themed especially for children and of course filled with wonderful children's books.

The Red Lion Lane Little Free Library will be roaring into life on Saturday 4 October in Woolwich, South East London. The red lion design was created by illustrator Emma Russell. This is the second Little Free Library that Emma added her unique and inspiring art to.

Above: Emma Russell adds her illustrations to the Hear, Bear Pear Little Free Library. You can listen to Emma talking about how she came up with the design on London Live.

On one of our most recent projects we have been working with a very unique artist with a craft that dates back to the 15th century. Russell Frost of Hooksmith has added a one of a kind book cover to one of our Little Free Libraries, which will be installed at the Wanstead Tap in Forest Gate, London on 18 October.

Pictured above from left: Russell next to his printing press; letters inset within the press; and the top of the Little Free Library with the printed words "Once upon a time at the Wanstead Tap".

Letterpress printing was the normal form of printing text from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century until the 19th century and remained in wide use for books and other uses until the second half of the 20th century. We'll be announcing the launch event for the Wanstead Tap Little Free Library very soon. Check our website or follow us on Facebook to stay up to date.

Kiko Honda-Powell studied architectual and interior design in Osaka, Japan. Now a resident of London she has added her interpretative artistic stylings to two of our Little Free Libraries. Pictured above bluebells, trees and sunlit leaves subtly encourage passers-by to stop in for a book.

Above: a recent coffee morning meet-up at community cafe Albert and Francis in Leyton, East London, where the Little Free Library has become a popular feature.

Johnny Rotten and Samuel Plimsoll (who were both born in the area) have a chat on one side of the Finsbury Park Little Free Library, while a child points passers-by in the right direction on the door. The wonderful illustrations were created by Islington based artist Teresa Robertson. The LFL is stewarded by a wonderful community of book lovers in the Plimsoll Road area of Finsbury Park.

We'll be posting more pictures and featuring more artists soon. In the meantime you can keep up with our progress around the country on Facebook, Twitter and on our website.

Registered charity no. 1158557

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Wanstead, Leytonstone and Leyton share a common theme

We worked with three fantastic artists to create three beautiful Little Free Libraries in Wanstead, Leytonstone and Leyton. Each LFL has an Epping Forest theme (the Forest is within walking distance of each LFL) and is full of books for each community to share.

Above left: Leytonstone's Little Free Library by artist Leticia Molera Vasquez. Above right: Leyton's Little Free Library by artist Kiko Honda-Powell. Below: Wanstead's Little Free Library by Gabriela Castellanos. When she's not decorating LFLs for us Leticia runs tattoo studio Artefacto in Leytonstone with her partner Sean Vasquez. Kiko specializes in interpretative art and studied graphic and interior design in Osaka, Japan, while Gabriela takes her art influences from her Venezuelan father using a graphic approach with vivid colours.

Three little libraries with one theme, each completely different; all beautiful and engaging.

Read more about our Little Free Libraries across London and the UK in a recent article by the Independent.

A new network of Little Free Libraries for Bradford

Little Free Library Project UK are working in partnership with Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw together with local community organisations, artists and businesses to deliver a network of Little Free Libraries for Bradford. The project is currently in the planning stages, but we are looking forward to launching this exciting new project.

We spoke to Councillor Ross-Shaw who told us why he is so passionate about the project:

"The Little Free Libraries project has sparked the imaginations of people around the world and in Bradford it's been no different. Encouraging people, and children in particular, not just to read but to share books with others is something everyone's getting behind.

There's a big drive in Bradford to improve our literacy rates for children and adults and it would be great to play a little part in that by making it easier for people to access books and develop a love of reading. The fact that Little Free Libraries can be public works of art in the middle of communities makes them extra special.”

We'll be announcing more details soon.

Islington's first Little Free Library

We are installing a network of Little Free Libraries in the London Borough of Islington. The first of these has now been installed in Finsbury Park.

Located on Prah Road near Plimsoll and Blackstock Roads, the Little Free Library was decorated by local artist Teresa Robertson. Above you can see Samuel Plimsoll in conversation with Johnny Rotten, who were both born in the area, though a few years apart!

Below a footballer can be seen reading a copy of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch. The LFL is hosted by the Flood family, who act as Little Free Library stewards with the support of their neighbours in this community spirited area of North London.

Our Leyton Little Free Library at Albert and Francis Cafe

Albert and Francis is a community cafe in the heart of Leyton. The Little Free Library has been in place for several weeks and has proved to be very popular with readers of all ages. On Tuesday mornings a group of local mums meet with their toddlers for a coffee. We stopped by to ask them what they thought about the little book sharing venue. "It's great to be able to pick up a book anytime and there are some great picture books for toddlers too." said Kate, who lives locally and donates books too.

The Leyton Little Free Library was built in our magic workshop in West Sussex and decorated by artist Kiko Honda-Powell with an Epping Forest theme.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Coming soon to London SE18

We'll be installing this roaring Little Free Library on Red Lion Lane near Woolwich in early October.

To find out more about where and when we're installing our Little Free Libraries around the UK, please visit our website:

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Urban Fox Little Free Library in Clissold Park

Today we installed London's second Urban Fox Little Free Library in the heart of Clissold Park, Stoke Newington. The first foxy book sharing venue was installed in Walthamstow in May. The artistic design for both came from the wonderfully talented Hannah Adamaszek. Readers from Walthamstow will have seen her signature fox in a few other locations too including the brilliant Mural on the Marsh.

The Little Free Library can be found at Clissold House in the beautiful Clissold Park from today (17 July). As with all Little Free Libraries it works on a "take a book, return a book, donate a book" system designed to be self sustaining. "The park was a great choice for the LFL because it is a community hub for families" says Nick Cheshire (LFL Project Director). 

There are lots of great places in Stoke Newington to pick up a book, including the fantastic public library on Church Street, as well as a number of used a new book shops in the area. Now there's one more place to find a good read and the best part of course, its completely free!

The Stokey Little Free Library is the second LFL to be installed in Hackney by our charity, the Little Free Library Project. The second 'Children's Themed' LFL can be found on Victoria Park Road (No. 191).

We're passionate about promoting access to free books and art and we hope the local community will enjoy having another place to pick up a book or two. Book donations are most welcome too!

If you'd like to find out more about our charity please visit our website

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy at a Little Free Library

On Saturday 26 July the wonderful Bernadette Russell will be signing copies of her inspiring book, Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy at a Little Free Library in Walthamstow, London.

The book pictured above is jam packed with awesome activities for spreading joy and kindness throughout the land. Are you sneaky enough to pull off a reverse robbery, by sliding a treat into someones bag or pocket? Have you got the guts to undertake a serious smile collection mission, and smile at every stranger you see all day long?

Bernadette Russell is a writer, performer and comedian, who in response to the 2011 riots, decided to try and do a kind thing for a stranger every single day for 366 days (it was a leap year). This endeavour went on to become a theatre show (Birmingham Rep and tour), two interactive installations and an exhibition.

The best part is that after the year was up she carried on being kind every day because she discovered that it changed her life for the better. Maybe it could change your life too, give it a try!

Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy is an activity book based on this experience, for big kids and small kids to have fun being nice. There are 80 ideas for being kind and putting a smile on somebody's face, which we think is brilliant.

Here's Eve (aged 9) taking some inspiration from the book and leaving a copy for someone to find at Birmingham library:

We asked Bernadette what she thinks about our Little Free Libraries.

"I love the Little Free Libraries! One of my favourite acts of kindness was leaving books that I had read and loved around and about for people to find, I always wrote a message inside the book (like Dear Stranger, I loved this book, hope you do too. Love Bernadette). I wish I'd known about the Little Free Libraries when I'd started out as it would have been the perfect place to leave them!"

Thanks Bernadette Russell. You're awesome!

So, if you would like to meet Bernadette and hear her talk about the power of kindness and pick up a copy of her wonderful book, come visit the Little Free Library at 45 Brettenham Road in Walthamstow on 26 July at 1pm. You will certainly leave the event feeling happy and inspired!

Friday, 4 July 2014

The Little Free Library at Clissold Park

The Stoke Newington Little Free Library will be installed inside the Grade II listed Clissold House in the heart of Clissold Park. Throughout the year the park, the house and the cafe are brimming with children and families enjoying the wonderful sights, sounds and facilities this beautiful green space has to offer.

Clissold House (originally named Paradise House) has a fascinating history involving the change of name which arose out of a love story that would probably make a great book. William Crawshay, who bought the house in the early 1800's forbade his daughter Eliza from marrying her beloved, the curate from across the park at St Mary's. Unable to be together, they were forced to wait for many years, until William died, before they could be married. Eliza then inherited the house and married her love, the Reverend Augustus Clissold, hence the name.

For more information about this or any of our Little Free Libraries please visit our website

History of Clissold House sourced from the Londonphile.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Leyton's Little Free Library arrives with it's artist

Artist Kiko Honda-Powell took delivery of the Leyton Little Free Library today. She has plans to decorate the LFL with a theme inspired by nature. Sorry we can't give away more than that! However, you won't have to wait too long too see the finished article when it is installed in Leyton in mid July.

Kiko has worked with us before. She added her striking designs to the Little Free Library we created for London charity Eat or Heat, see below.

Kiko studied architectural and interior design in Osaka, Japan. She now lives in London with her husband and two children.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A Little Free Library for Frederick Bremer School

We're very pleased to announce that we will be building a unique Little Free Library in partnership with the fantastic students at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, North East London.
We've teamed up with the outstanding students and teachers at Frederick Bremer School to design a Little Free Library just for kids, to share their books with one another on campus.

We visited the school recently to talk to year 7 students about their favourite books, the love of reading and our Little Free Library Project. We were so impressed with the literary knowledge of the kids we met. When asked how many Shakespeare plays they could name, we had to give up counting when they passed 10!

We showed the kids one of our Little Free Libraries and asked them if they liked the idea of sharing books with each other. Suffice to say the answer was a resounding YES! As a consequence we have agreed to build a very special Little Free Library designed by the Frederick Bremer School students, with support from their wonderful English and Art teachers.

Above, some of our Little Free Libraries before they are decorated and below after our amazing artists have added their eye-catching designs.

On 8 July we will be attending the 'Reading is Fundamental' launch event at Frederick Bremer School where we'll be talking more about the project and the tremendous value reading books can have. We love books!

Over the summer holidays our magic workshop in Sussex will build a unique Little Free Library for the school, which will then be decorated with designs inspired by the students. Before the beginning of the new school term, the finished library will be installed in the foyer of the school for students, parents and visitors to see. It will then be available for all of the school's students to share their books with one another.

We've also launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter to help fund the project. We're a non-profit organisation that builds and installs Little Free Libraries in the UK to promote reading, literacy and art. Please support if you can - thanks! 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Promoting reading, literacy and art in the UK

The largest network of Little Free Libraries in the UK

Little Free Library Project UK has built and installed the largest network of Little Free Libraries in the UK and there are many more on the way. Here are just a few of the striking designs that we've created.

"We work with a wonderful range of talented artists to create our eye-catching Little Free Libraries." says Nick Cheshire, Director of Operations. "We want to stop people in their tracks and entice them to take a book." says Cheshire.

The organisation's aims are to promote reading, literacy and art in the UK. The LFLs are aimed at encouraging people of all ages to pick up a book, but the colourful designs are particularly appealing to younger readers.

Little Free Library Project will be installing new little libraries in areas including Acton, Finsbury Park, Woolwich, Leyton, Wanstead and Mitcham this summer with plans to add further locations in the Midlands later this year.

The Little Free Libraries are hosted in residential gardens, cafes and community spaces where everyone in the communities in which they are located can access free books anytime. If you would like to find out more about hosting a Little Free Library or becoming a Little Free Library artist, please get in touch by contacting the the organisation here.

You can also find out more on their website.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

How kids in East London helped create a Little Free Library

My name is Kate Westbrook and I run a start up company called The Climbing Frame which develops and runs creative projects with children in East London. I saw the Little Free Library Project (LFL Project) online and thought it would be lovely if the kids that I work with at The Climbing Frame could take part in some way.

I contacted Nick Cheshire, the Project Manager for the organisation and he thought it was a great idea to involve children in the design of a Little Free Library.

Working with a group of 5-9 year olds at The Mill on Coppermill Lane in Walthamstow, we decided to take our inspiration from lots of lovely fresh fruit and made bright graphic collages with coloured paper. There were grapes, strawberries, apples, pears, grapefruits, oranges, bananas and even a big spiky pineapple! During our making session, the kids were free to eat the fruity still life subjects - the strawberries disappeared particularly quickly!

I then took photos of their wonderful designs and painted them onto a special Little Free Library that the LFL Project had built for us. The kids' designs were so vibrant and graphic, they looked brilliant plastered all over the Little Library. One of the things that made this Little Library so special was that it was built especially for children and specifically smaller than all the other Little Libraries. In fact, I was told that it is the smallest Little Free Library ever made.

The Little Free Library is now installed in a special children's area at a family friendly pub in Walthamstow called the William Morris Bar. They have a special club just for kids called the Morris Minors and teach language classes to children at weekends as well as hosting the world's littlest Little Free Library full of inspiring kids books.

By Kate Westbrook, Founder of the Climbing Frame and Art teacher.

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Little Free Libraries with an important message

Life has not been the same since my other half and I became hosts of a Little Free Library in Walthamstow, East London. It sounds dramatic but never before have I felt the urge to nip out the front door, dressing gown-clad at 6.30am, to check the overnight activity within the house shaped box perched on our front gate. I met more neighbours in the first 72 hours of it being installed than I had in the seven years I’ve lived here.

Colourful "Cartoon Cathouse" by illustrator Tim Reedy

Sometimes I peer out the window to watch the faces of children light up as they spot it (ours is a cartoon cathouse painted by my partner Tim Reedy so it’s a kid-magnet). Lovely upbeat comments from adults waft through our open windows. I feel incredibly proud, if not a little smug to have got one of these libraries. Our cat, who tends to spend most of his time out in the front now, soaking up the adoration from passing children is also getting a little too big for his boots.

But there is a serious message too. These wonderful, fun Little Free Libraries encourage everyone to pick up a book. No questions asked, no money paid, no reasons needed. They walk by and if they see a book they fancy, they take it. They’re reading. And that’s wonderful.

I teach literacy to adults in my borough of Waltham Forest. I know for a fact that literacy is a problem in my backyard, just as it is in yours. According to the National Literacy Trust, one in six people suffers with reading and writing. This means their literacy is below the level expected of an 11-year-old.

There is a lot of focus on children’s literacy and of course that is important. However, when someone leaves compulsory education, they can flounder; hiding their problems from others by asking their partners to fill out forms and such like. Often those people can spend years, decades, if not all their lives, not being able to read and write effectively.

Some of my students sacrifice their evenings to study with me because they find their reading skills are being superseded by their children’s. Others are there because they are being passed over for jobs and they want to improve their career prospects. Many are embarrassed about their literacy skills. They lack confidence and can be morbidly quiet. Literacy is not just reading and writing, but speaking and listening too. I see that just as their reading and writing improves, so do their verbal skills.

These people are busy. Most have jobs or children or both. When we start the course and I ask if they read books, they tell me they don’t have time. Some lack the confidence of tackling a book aimed at adults with their long words and thick pages. That’s why they prefer to read to their children, and when their kids can read better than them, they’re at a loss.

We do work with the public libraries and in no way do these Little Free Libraries supplant the wonderful work they do. Yet it’s a fact of life that many of my students don’t visit the libraries or if they do, it’s with their kids, to find books for them.

So if one person picks a book out of a Little Free Library that they happen to walk past, then that is a brilliant, positive thing. In my class, once we have visited the main library together, we have regular discussions about what we’re reading. Not everyone is. But some are and they talk with passion about the plot or how dreadful the storyline is and it’s brilliant to hear.

So, yes, these Little Free Libraries are a fun addition to the neighbourhood. They are a colourful talking point and have encouraged people to pass their cherished books on. But there’s an important community benefit here too.

Kate Bohdanowicz, Little Free Library host and adult literacy teacher
London E17

For more details on London's Little Free Library Project visit