Town of Pittsford NY

Supervisor's Column: Little Free Libraries

November 18, 2016

Town Supervisor Bill Smith's most recent Supervisor's column discusses Little Free Libraries.

Guidelines for creating a Little Free Library in Pittsford

Little Free Libraries in Pittsford

Bill Smith, Pittsford Town Supervisor

            Little Free Libraries (LFLs) are a “take a book, leave a book” free book exchange, typically sponsored by an individual or family.  They are housed in small structures on the owner’s lawn, near a road or sidewalk, where neighbors and visitors may take a book or leave books for others to read.  Right now we have six in Pittsford.  They’ve been welcomed by neighbors and visitors where they’ve appeared.  We also have a Little Free Library shelf, sponsored by the Friends of the Pittsford Community Library, in the Library hallway.

            There’s actually a world-wide movement to encourage Little Free Libraries, supported by a non-profit set up for that purpose.  You can find more information, including design and location advice at

            Here in Pittsford, you don’t need a special permit to set up your own Little Free Library – just stick to the following guidelines:

  • Keep it on private property, not in the right-of-way
  • We suggest a setback of 18 feet from the roadway edge or concrete gutter
  • Please don’t position the structure in a place where it obstructs the view or free passage of pedestrians, bicycles, or automobiles
  • Keep it away from fire hydrants
  • Your LFL should be of moderate size, with exterior dimensions of roughly 20" wide, 22” high, and 16” deep, and mounted on a sturdy post or secure base
  • It should not be of any size that could allow any person, whether adult or child, to enter it

For more information, to find other LFL locations, and to register your Little Free Library, visit  And of course, if you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me at Town Hall, at or (585) 248-6220.