When Cambridge, Ontario resident Amanda Young approached the cbridge.ca team about contributing a story about Little Libraries to our blog, we emphatically said “Yes” as we have been intrigued by the movement popping up around town.
We’ve reached the middle of summer break for students, a time when many families start to struggle for ways to keep everyone entertained, including mine. I first heard about a little known movement called Little Free Libraries in a Cambridge mom group on Facebook and couldn’t help but wonder what it was. I decided to do a little research before starting my family’s adventure here in town.
Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that works to inspire a love of reading while building community spirit and increasing access to books, with millions of books exchanged annually. The movement is popping up in locations in 70+ countries worldwide, and has even arrived in our community of Cambridge. The mandate of Little Free Library is “Building Community, Sparking Creativity and Inspiring Readers.” Put simply, homeowners interested in participating build a tiny library box/shed/house on the roadside of their property where adventurous readers can stop by at anytime and trade books for books. It’s like Geocaching for readers!
I spoke with Bree Caskenette, Little Library Steward at 23 Borden St. about why she decided to steward a Little Library. “There is nothing better than seeing a couple kids and their parent/grandparent enjoying a new book. The smiles on the children, and the joy of a new adventure makes stewarding absolutely worth it.”
As a household full of avid readers, our family began our Little Library adventures in Hespeler touring four Little Free Libraries at the following addresses:
Our second and third outings took us to the Galt addresses:
One homeowner on our second outing mentioned that there is a need for more children’s books to be circulated. If you plan to join in the fun, I suggest filling a bag with books your family is finished with, (including those for children) and heading out with a GPS accessible vehicle or phone.
During my research I discovered a Facebook page maintained by a local Little Free Library homeowner from the 46 Lansdowne Road South location. This page is updated frequently with Little Free Library related pictures and posts as well as special events. Little Libraries KW also maintains a page updating a Google Map with all the local libraries in the region, and even includes descriptions of each location.
All in all this adventure has been thoroughly enjoyed by my family, and I even have a few new books for myself to add to my summer reading shelf. My family will also be continuing our Little Library adventure throughout the summer, trying to visit all of the Little Libraries that have popped up in Cambridge.
Interested in starting your own? Visit the Little Free Library website which offers instructions on how to start and construct your own library. They also maintain a world map of registered Little Free Libraries to help people find and share books when traveling, or in their own communities.