If you had to guess, how many little free neighbourhood libraries would you expect there to be in the Capital Regional District? As of Sunday April 25, there are 450 of the little homemade boxes scattered throughout the region.
The latest box, built by retired conductor Bruce More, was installed by teacher Jouelle Brick on Danbrook Avenue in Langford. They dubbed it the NerdYurt.
Little free libraries are a free range book exchange, based on a ‘take one, leave one’ philosophy. It all started in 2009 in Wisconsin, when Todd Bol built a mini school house free library in honour of his late mother, a teacher and avid reader.
Slowly the idea spread so that now there are thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, homemade stands in neighbourhoods across the world.
Readers might find a new release, a literary classic or a dog-eared Harlequin. Cases can have cookbooks to comic books.
They’re about more than the books though.
The original free librarian Dol said, “I believe people can fix their neighbourhoods, fix their communities, develop systems of sharing, learn from each other, and see that they have a better place on this planet to live.”