Curb side literacy is becoming increasingly popular in Sylvan Lake as Little Free Libraries have begun to pop up around town.
Little Free Libraries are registered online at www.littlefreelibrary.org and according to the website, aim to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide to build a sense of community by sharing skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.
According to the website, there are nearly 40,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world, bringing curb side literacy to millions of individuals annually.
The first local Little Free Library popped up at 338 Marina Bay Place some time ago courtesy of Susan and Bob Samson.
Recently another Little Free Library has surfaced thanks to the Friends of the Sylvan Lake Library made possible by a donation from Norglenwold resident, Michael Dawe who is also a trustee representing the five summer villages on the Library board.
“I was quite taken by the idea and I thought it was a great idea worthy of support,” said Dawe on his involvement with the initiative. “It’s just another way of promoting literacy within the community. We have the library, which in Sylvan Lake’s case is a terrific one that gets a great deal of use. We also have the very popular beach buggie that offers people books to read while they are out along the beach in the summer and these little mini libraries are just one more way to get people thinking about reading but also to encourage the whole concept of what libraries mean, which is the promotion of learning and knowledge.”
The Friends of the Sylvan Lake Library, FOSLL, is an independent, charitable foundation established under Alberta’s Society Act for the purpose of helping the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library.
FOSLL’s little free library is located just outside of the downtown area, two blocks from Centennial Street at 5039 52 Street.
FOSLL chair, Peter Mielke, explained the build of the new Little Free Library was a community effort, with FOSLL volunteer Larry Kurt building the library box itself, Peter himself building the accompanying lighthouse fixture and fellow board member, Ian Oostindie providing the base and installing the complete piece onto the lawn of Gail Hergenheim.
“I hope it gets people to read more and make books more readily available while you are out and about in the community,” explained Mielke on the notion of their local Little Free Library. “It’s the idea that some of the books we have can be distributed this way and hopefully people will utilize it by taking a book or coming and leaving book.”
Hergenheim said she was thrilled to see the usage the new addition to her front lawn has received.
“I’ve had to replace the books in it three times now – mostly children’s books and we are so pleased with the response to it because it is in a quieter spot of town,” said Hergenheim. “We just really hoped it would see a lot of traffic and it has.”
She added those utilizing the new Little Free Library consists primarily of foot traffic with many stopping by on their evening walk with their dog or parents pushing strollers.
Another local citizen recently completed her Little Free Library as well. Coreen Spencer’s Little Free Library is located on 45 st. marking the third Little Free Library in Sylvan Lake.