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Deciding Where to Put Your Library

Most of the libraries we install end up about a foot back from the curb or sidewalk and at least three feet from any walkway or driveway, but there are many things you should consider before deciding on a location. For example, if you are considering installing your library in a parkway (a strip of land located between the sidewalk and the street), you should first check your local ordinances. While very few cities have ordinances that specifically address little libraries, many do have ordinances that would generally exclude placing little libraries within a parkway. 

In my opinion, the most important consideration is to pick a location that is clearly visible through a window from inside your home. That way you won't miss out on the enjoyment of watching folks visit your library! Our library has been up for over six years now and I still get a warm fuzzy feeling whenever I see people using it.

When I'm installing a library that is a mini-me of a customer's home, I always recommend a spot that best showcases their home in the background. So that anyone using the library will be able to look up and view the home from a favorable vantage point. And equally as important, so that photos taken from the right angle will nicely showoff the similarities between the two.


Whenever possible, choose a spot that is well lit at night or, if not, add a solar spotlight or two around your library.

Automatic Sprinklers.  You want to locate your library away from the direct spray of automatic sprinklers, or if necessary, adjust nearby sprinklers afterwards to avoid direct spray. Rotor-style sprinklers that shoot too high can be especially problematic in causing water damage to your library but are also the easiest to adjust. Consider wisely before installing and check often after installing to protect your library against unwanted spray.

Call Before You Dig.  And always always always contact your local utility locating service at least two or three business days before you plan to dig. They will arrange for representatives of your local electric, gas, water, phone, cable and other services to come out and mark any nearby utility lines. This service is FREE to homeowners and as they say, it's not only smart, it's the law! In most areas you can contact them by calling 811 or you can request their services online. They will ask you to describe where the spot you intend to dig is located and request that you mark the spot with something white. This can be anything from a white flag to a white piece of paper with a rock on it. If you're undecided about the exact spot you can ask them to mark a larger area.

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