Little Free Libraries® are installed in front yards, community centers, and public spaces all over the world, acting as book exchanges and neighborhood hubs. There are nearly 40,000 of these structures 

worldwide—connecting people and supporting literacy.

Chronicle Books, Little Free Library, and AIASF are inviting international architects, designers, students, and book lovers of all kinds to rethink this unique structure, and solve some problems identified by stewards—the neighborhood heroes who care for them.

We will use this information to inform a design competition

300 submissions from 40 countries later, here are the winners:

Design a Library, Build a Community

Judges' Choice

Chronicle Books' Choice

Stewards' Choice

Owlie by Bartosz Bochynski of FUTUMATA London, England

Rachel Murdaugh of Clark Nexsen

Asheville, North Carolina

Tree of Knowledge by CIRCLE

(Ryo Otsuka, Lin Zihao)

Tokyo, Japan


Chronicle Books

Dan Cohen

Collective Good + Gramming for Good

Christina Jenkins

Project H Design

Todd H. Bol

Little Free Library


Brett Randall Jones

David Baker Architects

San Francisco Team

Renée Elaine Sazcı

Kevin Lippert

Princeton Architectural Press

AIA San Francisco


  • Distinctive architectural style, internationally inspired
  • Considers to the needs of stewards
  • Addresses a specific environment
  • Plans will be contributed to the LFL community archive
  • Inspires the feelings of surprise + delight
  • Must be able to accommodate a Little Free Library charter sign
  • Must hold at least 25 books
  • Only for Chronicle Books Choice Award: Must be able to Flat Pack into a carton. Final product cannot weigh (when packed) more than 42lbs (19kg). Materials must be environmentally conscious.

Awards (You May Submit to One or Multiple)

  • Stewards' Choice: chosen by the Little Free Library Community
  • Judges' Choice: chosen by the judges, listed below
  • Chronicle Books' Choice: chosen by the Chronicle Books team, and considered for large-scale production


  • Urban, rural, and suburban environments
  • Front yards, community centers, public spaces, schools
  • Book deserts—places with limited access to books


  • A library of architecture books worth $300

  • Production of your design to give to a community in need (with some limits on cost)
  • (Chronicle Books Choice only) You design could be produced large-scale to serve communities around the world

Submission Format

Steward Challenges Include...

  • Multiple shelves that can be accessed by children and adults alike
  • Magnetic door catches
  • Areas for bookmarks and flyers
  • Hook for dog leashes
  • Lower shelf for kids
  • Place on top to grow herbs
  • Motion sensor lights for night
  • Plexiglass instead of glass to prevent injury
  • See-through door
  • Bright colors inside so books in the back don’t get lost
  • Notebook for visitors to comment in
  • Professional roof
  • Seating area
  • Sustainable materials
  • Accommodate 50 books or more
  • Accommodate books of unusual shapes and sizes

Steward Dreams Include...

  • Keeping the doors shut
  • Graffiti
  • Making it accessible at night
  • Serving small children and tall adults alike
  • Integrating with surroundings
  • Easy installation
  • Weatherproofing (keeping it water-tight and heatproof)
  • Separating different kinds of books
  • Creating visual interest

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