Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Little Free Libraries

Photo Credit: 3 Things for Calgary via Compfight cc
Have you seen any of those little book exchanges? Some are tiny, with a single shelf, & others, like the one just a few blocks north of us (I wrote about it: Mount Pleasant Pride), have space for hundreds of books. They're often on corners, or in front of a house, near the sidewalk for a quick browse. Oliver visits a couple of these little libraries regularly on his way home from work, sourcing children's story books, mostly. The books left in the libraries are often old or a bit dog-eared, but there are definitely some gems.

There are so many of these little libraries in East Van that there's going to be a bike ride to visit many of them during Velopalooza this year: the Tour de Book Exchanges, on Tuesday, July 23, at 8pm.

We've generally been on the receiving end of the libraries, taking books but not adding many. However, lately I've been thinking that I'd like to build one of those little lending libraries in front of our house. Then I saw Miranda Nelson's article in the Georgia Straight about a project to map Vancouver's neighbourhood book exchanges. Must be fate, right? ;)

Then I fell down the rabbit hole of LittleFreeLibrary.org--linked in Miranda's article--thinking about how exactly I can build one of these things. I wish I'd thought of this a few months ago, so I could have applied for a Vancouver Foundation grant to fund the project, but maybe next spring. It's not like I have a huge amount of free time on my hands at the moment, so maybe this can be a longer term project.

I love little grassroots projects like these that help to remind us the space between the property lines--the bit of grass, the sidewalk, the road--this is public property. It's for all of us--why not use it to share, rather than just pass through in your car, on your bike, or walking?

Have you got one of these little libraries near you? Have you ever considered building one?

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