Little Free Library™

Be a part of this exciting volunteer and partnership opportunity


It seems like a simple concept. If children have access to books early in life, they have a better chance for academic success down the road.


However, many families in need struggle to provide books to their children, and many new parents aren’t aware of the importance of early language and literacy. Within our own community, there are “book deserts” in areas where poverty is prevalent and many homes lack the adequate quantity and quality of books necessary to engage young children and their families in language and literacy.


One way Southwest Human Development is doing its part in the community is by partnering with individuals, neighborhoods, local businesses, as well as other nonprofit organizations in Maricopa County to place as many Little Free Libraries as possible for children who need them most. Little Free Libraries are “take one, leave one” book stations. The movement allows any individual to have easy access to books, regardless of their financial situation.

How can you help?




You may choose to be a Little Free Library Steward and host a library on your property.  We are always looking to place libraries in areas where children may not have access to books, so if you live in a neighborhood you would like to support, please email


As a Steward, you’ll have resources to keep your Little Free Library stocked including requesting additional books directly from Southwest Human Development and through the national Little Free Library resources here, here and here.


Another great way to support the Little Free Library movement is to join Team LFL — a national network of volunteers who support stewards and keep little free libraries stocked in a particular territory.


Each Team LFL member is assigned three to five Little Free Libraries to visit every other week to ensure that the library is full of books.  We provide the gently used books for restocking.  Average amount of time over a two-week period is 2-3 hours.  Read the full job description here.  If you are interested in participating, sign up here.


Consider Being a Super Volunteer


LFL Super Volunteers help manage our Team LFL Project, collaborate with book drives and help place Little Free Libraries in communities that need books.  If you are interested in learning more, email


Host a Gently Used Children’s Book Drive


We are looking to partner with church groups, elementary schools, companies and civic groups to collect gently used books to be distributed in the Little Free Libraries by Team LFL members. We also have a virtual book drive that all can participate in to support the books used in all SWHD early literacy programs including Little Free Library restocking.


Host a Little Free Library Team Building Experience


Looking for a volunteer experience that will make a lasting impact on your community? The Little Free Library team building experience will give you the opportunity to form lasting bonds with colleagues, family or friends, while increasing access to books in a community of need.


Here’s how it works…


Step 1: Creating Your Little Free Library

Each Little Free Library kit comes to you as a stack of wood with an “easier than IKEA” assembly process. Your team gets to choose your colors, design and décor. Each kit will keep 6-12 people busy for 2-3 hours depending on the complexity of your design. You can build your Little Free Library at your office or we can help arrange an off-site location with you. Have a big team? We can combine your Little Free Library build with a variety of other volunteer opportunities to keep your entire team engaged!


Step 2: Installing Your Library

When the library is complete, Southwest Human Development will pick it up and place it in the community. You can choose the location and we can also help organize an installation and unveiling event with your team.


Step 3: Stocking Your Library with Children’s Books

Many of our community partners hold a children’s book drive as part of their Little Free Library kick-off effort. It’s a fun way to engage your entire team, along with your customers and other partners! We can also help keep your Little Free Library stocked with children’s books donated throughout the year from our other community partners.


Here’s What You Provide

    • $1,000 donation per library
    • Volunteers for assembly
    • Preference for library placement location
    • Gently-used children’s book drive
    • On-going maintenance (optional)


Here’s What We Provide

    • DIY kit for library and instructions
    • Official charter number and recognition plaque
    • Paint for customizing your Little Free Library
    • Staff or volunteer onsite day of building to support and share your community impact
    • Assistance with securing location and permissions in neighborhoods where there is little or no access to books
    • Installation of library
    • Assistance with book acquisition; ongoing maintenance of the library (optional)

Watch how one of our community partners joined with Southwest Human Development to make a difference with the Little Free Library initiative!



Hear testimonials from some of our partners who participated in Little Free Library builds:



Want to visit a Little Free Library here in Phoenix? Click here for an interactive map of the U.S.! 

Want to learn more?

Email for details!

Southwest Human Development uses superior-quality paints generously donated by Dunn-Edwards Paints.

Helping Arizona Children & Families

With your support we can do even more