Frequently-Asked Questions

Is there a map of all of the libraries in Waterloo Region?

The Little Free Library organization in the US maintains a global registry of libraries.  You can zoom into the KW area to see where they are, locally.  Only folks who have registered their libraries, and subsequently requested to be added to the registry, are listed here.

We have a local listing of addresses that anyone can be a part of: https://llkw.ca/honour-roll/

Where can I get a library?

LittleFreeLibrary.org sells a number of beautiful kits and pre-assembled libraries.

If you are handy with wood, you can design and build one yourself, or use Little Free Library’s plans, or our plans.

We also have two kits availableFill out our order form here, and we’ll get it together for you.  We will provide you with a pickup time and location.

What comes with the LLKW kits?

You get all of the wood for the library itself (unfinished pine, pre-drilled for the large screws), the plexiglass window, hinges, a door latch and a door handle, along with an instruction sheet.  Not included are 1-3/4″ and 2″ #6 screws (you can use glue and nails if you prefer) nor any roofing material that you may like to use (shingles, cedar shakes, copper flashing, etc).

Where do the kits come from?

Local builder Dave Keller designed the two models, and our friends at Menno S. Martin Contractor (in St Jacobs) manufacture the kits.  W&W Liquidators (in Kitchener) provides the handles and door latches.

How much do the kits cost?

The kits cost $60 including HST.  Menno S. Martin provides the wood, plexiglass and hinges at cost.  W&W Liquidators provides additional hardware at a very low cost.  No one makes any money from this project, and some of the expense has been subsidized by a generous grant from the KW Awesome Foundation.

Can I just pick up a kit from the Menno S. Martin office?

No, they just manufacture the kits, and the latches and handles are not included yet at that point.  As well, they are not set up to do retail sales.

I don’t live in Waterloo Region.  How can I get a kit?

Our organization is dedicated to promoting little libraries in Waterloo Region.  We are happy to provide you with a kit if you come and pick it up yourself, but once you include gas and inconvenience, it may be less expensive for you to order one from the Little Free Library folks.  Our plans, and LFL’s plans, are free for anyone to use if you’d like to build your own.  You could also ask a local woodworker or woodworking student to build one for you.

How difficult are the kits to assemble?

By themselves, the kits are a couple of notches above IKEA furniture to build, but if you’ve ever built a birdhouse, this is no more difficult.  At our community builds, even first-time, never-built-a-thing builders take about 90 minutes to build a library.  If you are intimidated by the prospect of building a kit, just sign up for a community build, and we’ll help you out!

Can I pay you to build or install the kit for me?

Yes!  A local Scout troop will be delighted to build one for you, for a suggested donation of $25 (on top of the cost of the kit).  For another $65, they will come out, dig the hole, cut and mount the post, and then mount your library onto the post – they will even put shingles on if you ask!  Please contact us at info@LLKW.ca and we will put you in touch with them.

What else do I need, in addition to the library itself?

If you order one of our kits, you will need some way of finishing the wood, whether that’s staining, painting, varnishing, etc.  Some of the Little Free Library kits are already finished (and some are pre-assembled, of course).

You will need some way of mounting the library.  Some people use fence posts; some people have a stump or other feature on their lawn for mounting.  LittleFreeLibrary.org has lots of information about how to mount your library.  If you’re going to dig in your yard, please check here for whom to call, so that you don’t hit a phone or cable line while digging.

Please also register your library with the Little Free Library organization in the US.  For $35 US, they will send you a sign with your own library registration number, along with a startup kit.  When you receive your sign, send them back a picture of your library with the sign, and they will add you to their global registry of Little Free Libraries.  Your $35 goes towards materials, their time spent with your registration, and towards the various outreach programs that the Little Free Library organization provides.

Can’t I just pay you for the registration sign?

Sorry, no.  We are a separate organization and are not directly affiliated with the Little Free Library folks.

What are community builds?

Community builds are an opportunity to come out on a (hopefully!) sunny day and build a library for your home!  You can pre-order one of our kits for the build, purchase a kit from LittleFreeLibrary.org and bring it to the build, or just bring scrap materials and your own designs!

We provide some power drills/screwdrivers (a limited number only; bring your own to be sure), glue, screws and (perhaps most importantly) assistance!  If you are assembling one of our kits, please bring a Phillips screwdriver and a #2 Robertson screwdriver.

Can I help organize a community build?  And what would I need to do?

We’re very glad you asked!  If you are willing to find (or volunteer) a suitable location for one of our community builds, please mail us at info@LLKW.ca and we will take care of the rest.  All you need to do is find and reserve a location that has tables we can build on, that has a roof over our heads, and that provides free entry to everyone.  A picnic shelter at a park is a great choice, for example, as is a driveway with a canopy, or a church basement.

We will bring any kits that are pre-ordered, will provide some tools, screws and glue, and will have someone on hand to help out anyone who needs assistance.

When is your next community build?

Have a look at the front page of this site for information, or visit our Facebook group to be a part of the discussion.

I have a question that is evidently not as frequently asked…

Please either ask on our Facebook group, or send an email to info@LLKW.ca

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Little Libraries of KW
Wouldn't it be great to have a whole bunch of Little Free Libraries throughout Kitchener-Waterloo? This group is dedicated to discussing, planning, purchasing, setting up, registering and maintaining Little Free Libraries in KW and environs.

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