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I came across one of these on a mapping expedition today:

I am currently tagging it as a mobile_library, as tagging it as a standard library seems way misleading. I can just see the mom and 4 kids showing up, disappointed.

asked 13 Jul '14, 01:36

TylerSchwend's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Hi, I came across this one and presumed it was an amenity=library (folk could use it just like any other library) free and open just like OSM. There are also many churches that have a book swap or buy shelf/box.

(13 Jul '14, 06:53) BCNorwich

the "little free libraries" have a registration fee of 34 dollars for an official name plaque and registration so should we name them if they not registered?

(17 Jul '14, 20:19) andy mackey

BCNorwich: I definitely don't think tagging it as a library is appropriate. The answer I received below is really the right way to go.

Andy: It would only be named "Little Free Library" if that were actually its name. It would definitely not be appropriate to give that name or a special "littlefreelibrary" tag to things that aren't.

This is how I ended up tagging it, since it is officially a Little Free Library:

(18 Jul '14, 15:55) TylerSchwend

I think the "Little Free Library" locations might be similar to a "public bookcase"

There was a discussion thread on the tagging mail list a while back that might pertain to this at

I don't see that any consensus was reached on that but two possibilities did come out of that:

  1. Tagging it as a reuse facility: where the tags would be something like amenity=reuse, reuse:books=yes

  2. And simply amenity=public_bookcase

I prefer the second single tag variety but haven't committed to it for tagging a bookshelf/library on a stand by a church that is a mile or two from me.

permanent link

answered 13 Jul '14, 05:39

n76's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

edited 13 Jul '14, 05:42


Based on stf's feedback and the conversation he linked to I went with:

description=A little box to borrow and trade books.
name=Little Free Library

For the following node:

(13 Jul '14, 22:03) TylerSchwend

Might want to mark the answer that you accepted as the one you accepted. :)

(13 Jul '14, 23:56) n76

I'm not really sure if name= should be used here.

Maybe brand= ? Operater should be reserved person or group who set it up at the loction.

(14 Jul '14, 02:13) AndiG88

In this example the mobile tag must be wrong, That's for traveling libraries but the other tags seem ok. I have seen three or four phone box ones. I can remember the exact location or two but I am waiting for a generally accepted tag before mapping them.

(14 Jul '14, 07:12) andy mackey

An amenity that stores/holds books and manuscripts for whatever purpose is called a library. A library is defined as :- a building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow, or refer to

(14 Jul '14, 13:08) BCNorwich

I forgot to save the node. I only posted my tags here instead of saving them into the map. Just updated it to match. Oops.

(18 Jul '14, 15:57) TylerSchwend
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question asked: 13 Jul '14, 01:36

question was seen: 5,003 times

last updated: 18 Jul '14, 15:57

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum