A community in Cloverdale will be getting a little, free library later this month.
The little free library will be located in Provinceton Park (180 Street and 70 Avenue).
Cloverdale resident Shahee Lakhani got the idea after seeing a post on Facebook from Village Surrey about the community library.
Village Surrey had a library already built and they were offering it to anyone who already had a location in mind, Lakhani said.
Lakhani had her neighbourhood in mind, but hadn’t done anything else yet such as getting city approval.
“I didn’t know there was so much stuff to get approved. I just went, ‘I have a spot!'”
This new little free library is one of several in the city. This one is being sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cloverdale.
According to the Surrey Libraries’ website, little free libraries “promote literacy, love of reading and help build a sense of community.”
Lakhani thought it was a good location since there’s lots of houses in the neighbourhood and Provinceton Park gets used a lot in the summer.
“We are hoping that with a lot of foot traffic – because of the young families here – that people will use the little library.”
“Because a lot of parents sit here and the kids are playing and they’re just chatting or a single parent will come with all the neighbours’ kids, and all the kids are playing and she’s just watching them. So it’s nice to grab a book from there and read it.”
Lakhani has received a lot of positive feedback from the community about the little library. She hopes the idea takes off and keeps the interest going.
Lakhani will be the main person looking after the library with some help from others. She’ll be making sure the books rotate.
“If certain books, I notice, don’t get taken as much, I can take those to the library and get a new set of books. Or I can take from my stock, which people will give to me.”
“Pretty much everyone can take what they want and give what they want. It’s an honour system. I think it’s a nice thing. It’ll bring more people together.”
The Surrey Library will give the first set of books and will continue to give more as they get more inventory or duplicate books.
Little free libraries started a few years ago in the states by Todd Bol who built a model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother who was a teacher. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard.
Bol built a few more and labelled each one with ‘FREE BOOKS.’
Inspiration came from Andrew Carnegie’s support of free public libraries around the turn of the 19th to 20th century; Lutie Stearns, a librarian who travelled with books to nearly 1,400 locations in Wisconsin; and ‘Take a book, leave book’ initiatives in coffee shops and public spaces.
Work on the little library will start this week, according to Lakhani, and they’re hoping to have it finished around the time spring break starts which is March 14.
Lakhani said the community will probably have an official launch party once the little library is done.