While the Richardson Public Library only has one branch, the nonprofit Friends of the Richardson Libraryis working to increase the availability of books throughout the city by giving away Little Free Library kits.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that increases book access to readers through a “take a book, leave a book” free exchange. LFLs usually take the shape of mailboxes or birdhouses and are often placed in areas with high foot traffic. There are more than 100,000 LFLs worldwide in 50 states and more than 100 countries, including at least 43 registered in Richardson.

The Friends of the Richardson Public Library is offering free, unassembled Little Free Library kits and a starter collection of books to Richardson homeowners who would like to put one up.

Board Secretary Betty Bettachi said the Friends of the Richardson Public Library started its LFL program a few years ago, but it had been stagnant until last year.

“When COVID[-19] hit, we thought this would be a good time to revive it so that people could still get books and could still read,” Bettachi said. “And it would be something to do with the library being closed [for much of 2020].”

The LFL kits being offered by the Friends of the Richardson Library feature materials for a miniature house styled like an “Amish shed” and include:

• step-by-step instructions;

• precut and predrilled pieces;

• screws, nails and hardware;

• plexiglass;

• a “Little Free Library Original” medallion; and

• a “steward’s packet” with details on setting up and maintaining the miniature library.

Bettachi said the LFLs have been popular with children and adults.

“I saw an elderly man the other day when I was walking stop at one that I pass to look at a book,” she said. “[We have gotten] a very good response.”

Those seeking more information or to apply for one of the kits may visit www.richardsonfol.org/little-free-libraries.