A donation of about 250 books to one of Whalley’s modular housing units was a welcome surprise.
The books were donated to Lookout Housing and Health Society’s Nancy Gerard temporary modular housing at the end of October, said Surrey RCMP Sergeant Scotty Schumann, who brought in the books from the anonymous donor.
Schumann, who works with the Surrey RCMP’s Police Mental Health Outreach Team, said he regular goes to the modular housing as part of his normal patrols to build relationships with staff and tenants.
At the Nancy Gerard modular site, on the east side of King George around 106th Avenue, the tenants and staff had set up a library.
He said he started donating books, adding that it was “wildly popular.”
“The tenants loved getting these books, so I found an opportunity to collect a bunch of books that weren’t sold after a book sale — about 250 of them — and I donated them to the shelter,” said Schumann, adding that he was given the books for free after the sale.
Bailey Mumford, the director of housing for Lookout Housing and Health Society, said the idea for libraries at the modular sites was “very client-driven,” and many of the tenants already liked to read.
“I was there (at Nancy Gerard) the other day. It was pretty cool. I was actually at another one of our sites… they have trouble keeping them on the shelf because people are using them so much.”
Surrey Libraries, Mumford said, comes onto the modular sites “quite often” to get the clients interested in reading.
“We use these programs as a way to engage with people, so a lot of people that normally stay in their rooms or like to keep to themselves, the more opportunities that we can give them to get out and connect… the better,” Mumford said.
“What we’re seeing now is people looking at the books, people talking about the books. The next thing we’ll do is see if anyone wants to start a book club.”