An example of a little free library
Some of you may know that in my professional life I am a digital marketing consultant. I had a lively conversation with a colleague last week about how social media is infiltrating our everyday lives and how connections between people are often being developed online via platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter well ahead of real world connections. While I have read many an article about how this is the downfall of modern society and certainly see the disconnect among youth who would prefer to text the person sitting next to them rather than engage in real conversation, I have a real appreciation for the value in the type of collaboration, idea sharing and reach that social media has on our daily lives.
Take for example a project that has developed in the Village of Anmore. A friend posted an article on Facebook about an organization in Wisconsin called Little Free Library that promotes community and literacy through encouraging neighbourhoods to set up their own book exchanges. The idea of a book exchange is not something new, but the concept of small outdoor library boxes that are sponsored by neighbours, neighbourhoods, and communities and then promoted online as part of a bigger movement is fascinating. It's this type of connection to a bigger whole that people crave when they engage online and here is a little non-profit in Wisconsin whose nearing 2000 little free library stops all over the world, all by making people feel like their little library is part of a much bigger movement.
Anmore has no library services and we rely on our local school, neighbouring municipal library services and bookstores when we want to get our hands on a book. Little Free Library is the perfect low cost, community supported idea that helps promote literacy within the framework of our small Village. To that end, I re-posted information about the Little Free Library concept to Facebook and asked for residents opinions on the idea. The amazing thing about social media, was that within a few hours I had all sorts of comments in support of the idea and offers to help build library boxes, to donate books and to set up a group to make this idea a reality in Anmore.
Via regular channels, this idea might have taken months to take hold or fizzled out all together, but online people have the ability to see visual examples of the idea through pictures and articles and exchange comments and ideas from their homes, their offices or even their smart phones.
The goal is to have our first Little Free Library up and running by the end of August and a total of 10 installed in the community over the next year. I hope this project will gain council support and momentum as people see the benefit to having this type of community book exchange in their neighbourhood.
If you'd like to participate in this project, or if you are interested in finding out more, please feel free to contact me (via email, or facebook of course) !
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It's great to be out in the community, participating in some of the great events in and around Anmore and speaking to residents about what matters to them!