Community Little Free Libraries

Our Little Free Library Project was a great success.

The driving question

How can we use our design and technology skills to build a
Little Free Library that will help our communities to be a
better place?

Adding Little Free Libraries (LFL) to our neighbourhoods make books available to everyone and support a positive sense of community.

The MegaBloc class learned about this international initiative and
spent time planning, designing multiple drafts, prototyping, and finally constructing the libraries in the woodshop.

Grade 10 student Ethan saw his learning experience in grade nine MegaBloc as a blessing to the community. He learned more about himself through opportunities provided in and outside of the classroom through the Little Free Library project.

“I enjoyed this project more than others because the public will use the Library. Through this course, we were able to contribute to our community.” ~ Ethan

Students had the opportunity to use various tools in the process including several software programs, Laser cutters, 3D printer, and machinery in the shop.

“My favorite part of this project was putting the library together in the woodshop. Watching the designs we made in AutoCAD and on paper turn into a small library felt fulfilling! This project was my first time using the design process for a project; it helped me organize my ideas and turn them into a reality.” ~ Ethan

“Being able to design and construct things using different resources is a practical skill I can use for the rest of my life.”

Ethan’s story is just one of the countless examples of those who have grown from HDCH, of those whom you have helped to encourage.

Beautiful Work

The class-made thirteen unique Little Free Libraries are being adopted into different parts of our local communities and beyond. All will be stocked with books that suit its location and mapped on the international LFL database.

Our students did beautiful learning and work, and the community is being blessed. The following is a letter from one of the recipients of our student-made Little Free Libraries.

A note from the Community

“I am one of the lucky recipients of your school’s very well-made and generously distributed Little Free Libraries and I wanted to share with you the warm welcome it has received.

The enthusiasm for the library is unmistakable. Even before I had managed to furnish it with so much as a single book, the neighborhood had already taken the library to its heart: two books were left in it just a day after it was delivered, while it was still otherwise empty. Often when I am tidying the books/ restocking the shelves people will approach me to comment on how much they love the library — or ask if I just got anything good in!

It seems to me the thirst for books in the area is extreme: the library saw its first borrowers literally as soon as it was stocked — one came over while I was filling it, another browsed the shelves and left with a book while I was on the porch chatting to someone a few minutes later.

Of course the book-sparse nature of the neighborhood means the library is not self-maintaining (typically I restock the library with a full bundle buggy’s worth of books from the thrift store every few weeks or so) but this fact makes the enthusiastic community uptake all the more poignant.

Given both the warm reception the LFL has received, and the fact that this is a “book-sparse” area –that apparently cries out for more books– I had an idea that seemed worth sharing with you: what would you think of connecting with the GALA community organizing group to perhaps identify other would-be LFL stewards in the area, with the goal of connecting those people to your LFL-making students? It would be so wonderful to see more such outposts of literacy in the area.

Once again, thanks so much for this gift to the neighborhood, it has really bought a new sparkle to the place!

These are a few pics to give you a more meaningful idea of community engagement — as you can see in the first pic 2 books appeared on the day it was left outside my house, despite the fact it was not yet stocked. The stocking up I did shortly after lasted about 2 weeks (yay!), which seems about the standard length of time now before the cabinet is a wasteland. 🙂 One of the pics, taken early in August shows what happens when a certain steward can’t get to the thrift store for a while — down to 2 books (one of which was later taken… seems the Readers Digest is rather more of a hard sell!). Trade is brisk in this literary outpost. :-)”