A Little Free Library (LFL) is a box of books available for anyone to use on the "take a book, return a book" honor system. Anyone can access the books for free. You are just asked to replace the book you take with one in good condition from your collection at home.
Where can I find a Little Free Library in Sarasota County?
- Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 S. River Road, Englewood FL 34223
- Longwood Park, 6050 Longwood Run Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34243
- Arlington Park and Aquatic Center, 2650 Waldemere St., Sarasota FL, 34239
- Colonial Oaks Park, 5300 Colonial Oaks Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34232
- Urfer Family Park, 4000 Honore Ave., Sarasota, FL 34233
- Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34241
- Culverhouse Nature Park, 7301 McIntosh Road, Sarasota, FL 34293
- Shamrock Park, 3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice, FL 34293
- George Mullen Activity Center, 1602 Kramer Way, North Port, FL 34286
The following LFL's were provided through a partnership between Sarasota County Libraries, Parks and Recreation, Sustainability and Project Read Together.
- Laurel Park, 509 Collins Road, Nokomis, FL 34275
- Newtown Estates Park, 2800 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34234
- Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231
There are also several LFLs in Sarasota County that were created by residents and businesses. View the full set of LFLs in our region and around the world on the official LFL Map.
Why has Sarasota County installed these Little Free Libraries?
Through LFLs, Sarasota County can expand the reach of its Library system into parks and help more residents find joy in reading. Research shows that access to books improves reading performance and increases literacy rates.
LFLs also enhance the visitor experience at county parks. Sarasota County also hopes that residents will decide to install a LFL in their own neighborhood, at their faith or civic organization or in front of their business.
How can I start a Little Free Library of my own?
The LFL organization provides step by step instructions on how to get involved, build support, find books, engage your neighbors and get the word out.
If you are interested in installing a LFL in your neighborhood, you may even be able to apply for funding through the Neighborhood Grant program or crowd fund through an online fundraising portal.
The simplest way is to install a LFL on your own property, such as in your front yard or in front of your business. If you would like to install a LFL at your faith or civic organization, just be sure to get approval from them first. And, if the location you are interested in is public property such as a right of way, stormwater pond or park, you will need to get approval from the government entity that owns it.
Remember to consider safety in picking your location, keeping the LFL away from roads and other hazards. Zoning restrictions in your jurisdiction may also determine how or where it is installed. In Unincorporated Sarasota County, for instance, a LFL that is higher than 4 feet tall must be set back 4 feet from the property line or from a right-of-way. You should also check for any relevant deed restrictions in your area.
It's easy to start a LFL and you can join the movement to increase access to books, get to know your neighbors and build community.
Sarasota County is dedicated to increasing access to books for residents no matter where they live. Sarasota County Libraries routinely work beyond their buildings' walls to provide books to our residents. From lending libraries in SCAT buses and at the County Jail, to the new Mobile Literacy Labs providing books at the Sarasota County Boys and Girls Clubs, the LFLs are just one more way Sarasota County is serving new readers every day.