Inspired by this pop up library, my colleague Mr. Janicas and I cooked up a little pop up library plan of our own…
My first exposure to free little libraries, was on the popular bike route of east 10th avenue, where I had stopped one day to admire the offerings and thank you notes and was randomly interviewed by Andrea Woo of the Globe and Mail. Such guerilla community building greatly appeals to me. Low cost, low maintenance, no bylaws and regulations to hinder the spontaneity, the creativity, the sharing, and the increased interest of reading and the improving access to text. Alternative library spaces. Community engagement.
While the construction or purchase of such lovely little book holding structures was much beyond Mr. Janicas and I, we decided to offer books to his grade4/5 class in paper shopping bags, strewn throughout Maclean Park, with hints about the contents of each bag on the outside. Each student would select a bag, spend the afternoon reading the books within, and then take the lot home with them. Alas, the weather did not cooperate in the last week of school, which resulted in a pop up library within the library. While not ideal, and certainly a tad confusing to some of the more questioning students, the kids enjoyed romping around the library, reading the clues, comparing the bags. I just love how the kids sorted the books and wrote clues for each group.
Strathcona’s first pop up library was a great success! The kids enthusiastically read and traded, shared and borrowed. What’s next for pop up libraries around here? I’m now thinking mini books. Have you been to the Regional Assembly of Text on Main Street? They have a lovely little reading room tucked in a closet that contains a library of mini books and zines. Ah, mini books. There’s just something so satisfying about them. I made a pile with some lovely neon paper. They were highly appealing to the children, especially the tiniest of them all – those the size of staple.
Here are a few mini books I left on East 10th the other week (not authored by me):