Why I Love Little Free Libraries and Where to Find them in Chattanooga


Have you noticed the micro libraries popping up around the city in public spaces over the last few years? The take-a-book, leave-a-book movement these curbside book stations represent has gone global, building over 60,000 book exchanges in more than 70 countries since it began in 2009. Most of the house-shaped libraries are just a little larger than birdhouses, and can hold around 40 books for anyone in the community to borrow on an honor-based system.

I love the spirit behind little libraries, so I thought I’d share why I like them so much, along with where to find them in Chattanooga.

Spreading Literacy and a Love of Reading

You may think to yourself, “You know what is also free?,” the actual library. While nobody loves the library more than I do, did you know that since our local library systems operate on a city by city basis, if your neighborhood is not within the city limits, a library card could cost your family $50 – $60 a year? Micro library boxes help make books available to those who may not be able to afford that cost, and offer 24/7 access at times when other libraries may be closed. Local organizations like United Way and Read20 have helped place these boxes in places where access to books can be an important tool for supporting childhood literacy.

Being a Good Neighbor

Being a good neighbor is one of our core family values, and Little Free Libraries are a great way to share the (book) love with our neighbors. We keep an eye on the library box at our local playground, and when it is looking a little empty, my kids and I go through our bookshelf and pick a couple books to donate. It’s a great thing to do with all those duplicate books that seem to appear on the shelf somehow. (How do we have three copies of The Cat in the Hat??) Once for my daughter’s birthday party, we asked everyone to bring a gently used book to donate to the Little Free Library in lieu of presents. We were able to fill the empty box, and I didn’t have 30 new toys to find a new home for in my tiny house. Win-win!   

Our Red Bank Little Free Library needs a new door, but is full of books to share!

Community Pride

Building, stocking, or using a Little Free Library is an easy way to help our kids remember they are members of a larger community. Something about these boxes makes places seem friendlier and more connected. The honor system is like a mini experiment in placing a tiny mustard seed of faith in humanity. While it’s true that sometimes our library box gets emptied, books you place in it may disappear never to be seen again, and yes, ours has even been vandalized when someone broke it and took the glass from the door. The important part is that we are teaching our kids that we can be the change by repairing, contributing, and participating in the good happening in our community.

Where to Find Them

I’ve rounded up a list of places in Chattanooga and the outskirts of town where you can find Little Free Library boxes. I haven’t been to all of them, and I’m sure there are some I don’t know about. I’ll try to keep this list updated, so if you know of one I’ve missed just let me know in the comments or send me an email! If you want to learn more about building a Little Free Library, you can find free plans here. Boxes don’t have to be very elaborate, but man, I hope someone builds a Dr. Who tardis box near me soon.

  1. Southeast corner of Curve Street and Dallas Road

  2. Riverview Grande Apartments (700 Mansion Circle)

  3. Southeast corner of Dorchester Road and Hixson Pike

  4. North Chattanooga Recreation Center (364 May St.)

  5. Homeless Health Care Clinic (717 E. 11th St.)

  6. Chattanooga Room In the Inn (230 N. Highland Park Ave.)

  7. Enterprise South Park Visitors Center (8015 Volkswagen Drive)

  8. Hamilton County Child Support Office (1600 E. Third St.)

  9. The Hair Lounge (1478 Market St.)

  10. The Hart Gallery (110 E. Main St.).

  11. Dodson Avenue Community Health Center (1200 Dodson Ave.)

  12. 112 Hardy Road Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

  13. Ascension Lutheran Church (720 S. Germantown Road East Ridge, TN 37412)

  14. 4605 Tarpon Trail Chattanooga TN 37416

  15. 8156 Burgundy Cir Chattanooga 37421

  16. 4720 Murray Hills Dr Chattanooga 37416

  17. 411 Crewdson Ave Chattanooga 37405

  18. Kid’s Korner playground (3817 Redding Road, Red Bank)

  19. 7726 Village Way Hixson, TN 37343

  20. Tall Pines Estates, Soddy Daisy, TN

  21. 10312 Soverign Pointe Drive, Soddy Daisy, TN

  22. 9002 Wellthor Cir Soddy Daisy 37379

  23. 4081 Dalton Pike SE Cleveland, TN 37323

  24. 400 Durkee Road SE Cleveland, TN 37323

  25. 2500 Highland Drive NE Cleveland, TN 37312

  26. 4031 Keith Street NW Cleveland TN 37323

  27. 5350 Freewill Road Cleveland TN 37312

  28. Greenway Park, on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway

  29. 4881 Taylor Cir Collegedale, TN 37315

  30. Little Generals Park, Ringgold, GA


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