Submitted by Kathy Gardiner,
Library Manager, Parkland County Municipal Libraries
The Tri-Community Libraries throughout Parkland County, Spruce Grove, and Stony Plain have partnered with Parkland Adult Literacy and Green Hectares to offer people access to reading material at their own convenience with the “Take Time to Read” initiative and the “Little Free Library” project.
In a continuing effort to promote reading and literacy throughout the Tri-Community, The Spruce Grove Public Library developed the Take Time to Read initiative. Residents of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, and Parkland County will notice baskets filled with books at various locations in their communities acting as ‘little libraries’. Residents are encouraged to take a book to read and then either loan it to a friend or return it to an area library. People can also leave a book for others to enjoy too. One ‘little library’ location is the Tri Leisure Centre. It houses a shelving unit that displays about 20 books at a time and is conveniently located so people can grab a book to read while they are working out or waiting for their program to start.
The “Little Free Library” project was brought forth by Barb Scully at Green Hectares and Stephanie Sabadaska of Carvel Hall who established the idea from the little free library website:www.littlefreelibrary.org. The mission behind the “Little Free Library” is to build a sense of community while fostering the love of reading. The communities of Carvel and Spring Lake have a little free library mounted outside so people can access reading material 24/7. Residents in those communities have come together to build the little free library that is unique to their community. Community members shared their skills, creativity and knowledge in building a little library in their community.
The Tri Community Libraries, Parkland Adult Literacy and Green Hectares all take part in keeping the little libraries stocked with reading material for all ages. Corrie Rhyasen Erdman, Parkland Adult Literacy Coordinator, was fortunate to receive a donation of more than 50 new books from Frontier College in Ontario to use for the little libraries.
These ‘little libraries’ undoubtedly offer convenience and simplicity to our residents by providing barrier-free access to materials. Much more than this though, these displays are building a sense of community with the act of exchanging and sharing books with one another.
Little library locations:
Tri Leisure Centre
Stony Plain: Java Express, O’Donna’s Café & Pastries
Spruce Grove: City Hall, Second Cup, Starbucks (east end), Farmers Market (seasonal)
Parkland County: Carvel Hall, Spring Lake, Tomahawk Agri Centre