Monday, November 26, 2012

The littlest library

Almost two weeks ago, one of my Master Composter/Recycler friends posted a picture on Facebook of a tiny outdoor library. Another MC/R friend commented that he'd heard there was one like it near a little grocery store just a fifteen minute walk from my place. Intrigued, I announced that I would find it and post a picture.

It was a chilly day last Thursday, but I needed a little fresh air and exercise, so I stuck my camera in my coat pocket and headed for the store, which is on the corner of 95th Avenue and 92nd Street. I took a snowy stroll down Strathearn Drive to check out the cityscape, and hung a left. I had the idea that what I was seeking was behind the shop, but actually, it's right out front between the grocery story and the Massage Therapy Supply Outlet. Can you see it? I almost missed it because of the Strathearn Community League's community notice board beside it, another house-shaped box that isn't nearly so fancy or brightly coloured.

The lady in the grocery didn't seem to know much about the library, other than where it was, so I stepped into the MTSO and explained my picture taking errand. I must say, it smelled great in there (massage oils, perhaps?)... and the staff were very nice. They tried to track down the shop's owner to come and talk with me, but Joe is not the kind of guy who will answer a cell phone while driving, kudos to him!

Joe's partner, Vera, was in the building, however, and was very happy to show me his "pride and joy."

 It's an adorable cabinet with a glass window, and cute stone trim around the bottom.
There weren't too many books in the library yet, but they were well arranged. 
Vera showed me some "new" second-hand children's titles laying 
in the bottom so little ones can reach them.

Vera also told me that she's in the process of building her very own little library, possibly the second or third in Edmonton (depending on whether she or another gal at MTSO finish building first). Vera's will be fabricated of completely recycled materials -- she has an old piece of Ikea bookshelf that now has a roof with real recycled shingles, she said.

I just love it when people come up with creative ideas for redistributing wealth -- in this case, books. It's great that these titles aren't in the landfill, but are available to anyone who might be interested in them. It's little deeds like this that improve the happiness quotient in our communities, and preserve some of our planet's beauty. A beauty worth preserving, I'd say.

November 30th: Turns out the Little Free Library is a movement. See the link and Anna's comment below!


  1. I love it! He did such a fine job. And now I know what to do with my spare books:)

  2. This is so great! Thank you so much for writing about it, Maria! I recently heard about the Little Free Library project ( and was so excited to learn that Edmonton has one! I hope they Vera and Joe register their LFL on the website so that it shows up on the global map: And I look forward to seeing the 2nd, 3rd, 4th... pop up around town.

    1. Thanks, Anna. I've forwarded this to Joe, though he may know about it already!


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