Literacy-friendly neighborhoods is a grassroots initiative started by Little Free Libraries that aims to promote literacy, expand literary horizons, cultivate generosity, and promote general neighborliness.  These libraries will facilitate an informal exchange of books in the city’s public spaces, where residents and visitors may use and contribute to these communal resources.  The final locations for these libraries have not been established, but all are planned to be in the urban environment in underprivileged neighborhoods in Buffalo, NY.

Each entry should speak to the goals of the Literacy–friendly neighborhood in an urban setting while simultaneously addressing the basic demands of an outdoor enclosure and providing a form that breaks the mold of what has been deemed typical for a Little Free Library.  Creative and innovative designs are encouraged.

Architects, designers, sculptors, carpenters, students, etc. interested in rethinking and fabricating a library as part of this project are invited to submit their qualifications and describe their interest in the project.  A conceptual design and brief narrative description of how your concept addresses the points presented in the Competition Brief must accompany each application. Multiple designs concepts are allowed and will require multiple entries.

A jury will select up to ten entrants to design and fabricate a library, hosted on public property or in the domain of a partnering community organization. Once installed, all libraries will be stocked by the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system, so upon selection, the entrants will be expected to address specific review comments by the jury and constituents to ensure successful long-term use of the installed libraries.

Design/Build entrants will be responsible for all design, material selection, and fabrication of one little free library within the defined schedule. Multiple design concepts from a single entrant will first be judged against each other to select the strongest and then against other entries to maintain as diverse an inventory of libraries as possible. This does not preclude a situation wherein a multiple entrant may be asked to make more than one library, however, each entrant with multiple designs should indicate their ability to fabricate more than one library within the timeframe given.


  • Competition Opens:  June 5, 2017
  • Submissions Due:  September 1, 2017
  • Winners Notified:  October 1, 2017
  • Design Duration (3 months):  October 2017 thru December 2018
  • Construction Duration (4 months):  January 2017 thru April 2018
  • Installation:  Any time after completion but no later than May 1, 2018
  • Ribbon Cutting:  Late May/early June 2018

Download the information related to this competition here.

Source :