Books for the taking – and reading

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Last week, a peaked-roof box – looking somewhat like a large birdhouse – was installed outside of Growing Together.

Brenda Hall, the executive director of Growing Together, stands next to the Growing Together Family Library – an outdoor box where people can pick up books at any time. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Brenda Hall, the executive director of Growing Together, stands next to the Growing Together Family Library – an outdoor box where people can pick up books at any time.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

But it is not a birdhouse. It is the Growing Together Family Library.

Brenda Hall, the executive director at Growing Together, explained community members can take books anytime they want from the mini-library.

“They can take a book and just keep it, or they can bring it back,” she said. “So say if a child really loves that book, we’re not going to expect it back. If they want to bring it back, that’s good.”

Hall said, if books are not returned, that would be OK because the Growing Together Family Library will be constantly refilled through support from the Community Literacy Fund of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, as well as book donations from the public and Growing Together staff members.

The mini-library was placed outdoors so it could be more accessible to people at whatever time is convenient to them.

“So if we’re not here, which oftentimes we’re somewhere else for our program, then it’s available for people to come,” said Hall. “We don’t have to be here for them to take a book.”

She got the idea for the Growing Together Family Library from the Internet.

“And I thought, ‘That’s a good idea. We should do that,'” she said. “So we got funds from the Community Literacy Fund to do this.”

The mini-library was built by Hall’s husband, Mark Lyon, and put in place on Feb. 13.

“What’s going to be in there is books for all ages,” said Hall. “Right now, the books that are in there are mostly for zero to six, but there are also adult books in there. And there are also little books for little babies, too.”

Each book is protected from moisture in its own clear plastic bag.

“There’s quite a few in there, because the children’s books are very small,” said Hall, estimating the service began with about 40 books.

She said donations of books will be accepted for the Growing Together Family Library if they are in good shape.

Hall hopes the mini-library will be a good thing for literacy.

“I think the availability of something in your own neighbourhood would promote reading,” she said.

Growing Together is a resource centre for young children and their families.

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