The Lab: How to Build a Little Library for Your Block

Oct 17, 2020

My family loves to read, and we love little libraries. Every time we visit my in-laws, the kids and I take a walk to the well-stocked little library on their street. 

Since our neighborhood was lacking a little library, we decided to build one of our own! There are lots of pre-designed plans out there, but we built ours based on a side table my wife found at a secondhand store.

The starting point.

The first step was to remove any unnecessary parts, which included the legs (since we wanted to mount it on a post) and the top part of the table that stuck out over the sides. A few quick cuts with a circular saw and we were nearly ready for construction.

Just a big ol' box.

The final destruction step (not pictured) involved cutting out the center of the door and replacing it with an acrylic window so people could see the books.

Once that was complete, we built the roof by cutting some sheets of plywood and building the structure. We then put a cap on top and finally added shingles leftover from our roof. Tip: Most little libraries have a one-directional roof rather than the triangle shape, and now we understand why! The top cap was the most difficult part of the whole build.

Roof in place.

Once the roof was completed, we added some decorative paper to the inside walls, caulked any open seams, since it'll be out in the rain and occasional snow here in Colorado, and painted it to match our house.

Finally, we dug a post hole, mounted the library to the top of it, and we’re open for business! All in all, the project cost us less than $100 and took around 4 hours over the course of a couple of weekends. We love how it turned out, and we were very excited when we got our first new books added to it by neighbors.

This is guest post from Beau, our Director of Performance Marketing.

Do you have a favorite little library you visit? What type of books do you love to find?

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