Little Free Library


Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.  Why Does Book Access Matter?  One of the most successful ways to improve the reading achievement of children is to increase their access to books, especially at home (McGill-Franzen & Allington, 2009). But according to the U.S. Department of Education, up to 61% of low-income families do not have any books for their kids at home.  Little Free Libraries play an essential role by providing 24/7 access to books (and encouraging a love of reading!) in areas where books are scarce.


LiveGreen is proud to sponsor a Little Free Library, located on the 2nd floor of the Durham Outpatient Center, next to Cornerstone gifts.  It’s a great way to re-use books, celebrate the use of reclaimed materials into something functional, the books are free, the provide a way for people to connect with one another, are a great way for children and adults to pass the time while visiting. 

Our Little Free Library was is a gift in 2014 from Matthew Rothgeb, completed as his Eagle Scout project.  Matt is the son of Kimberly Rothgeb, in IGPBS.  He constructed the Library from wood reclaimed from pallets found at UNMC and decorated it with pieces of old Scrabble games as a tribute to his English teacher who was treated for cancer at the med center.  Matthew collected more than 2,000 books to keep the Little Free Library stocked and in the first 2 years more than 5,000 books, in at least 4 different languages, were distributed!  We’ve lost count now, but are so excited that you are using our Little Free Library and reading all of those books!

The directions for use are simple:  take a book, leave a book.  There is a selection of books for every age from young children to adults.  You do not need to have a book to exchange if something catches your fancy, and you don’t need to take a book in order to leave one.  Patients, their family members, visitors, and employees can share what they’re reading.  Parents of hospitalized young children can pick up something new to read to their child.

Anyone can donate books in reasonable condition.  If you’re donating, we ask that you make sure there is room on the shelves for your books.  Please do not leave them on the floor around the structure.  You can email to arrange to donate books if there is not enough room on the shelves.  LiveGreen volunteers will be re-stocking  books from time to time and as we have supplies.

*LiveGreen does not have control of the material left on the Little Free Library, nor do we censor.  We will attempt to remove anything inappropriate, but cannot be present at all times.

**Please note, the Little Free Library is for books, not for pamphlets or other paraphernalia.  If you have movies, magazines, or other items you would like to donate, please contact Volunteer Services to see if they have a use for them.  Thank you.