Book-sharing library box a ‘community project’ in Weyburn neighbourhood

A new ‘little free library’ book-sharing box has been busy since it was set up on Staveley Crescent by self-professed “book nerds”, Vanessa Flavel and her daughter Sela.

Vanessa had heard of a couple other neighbourhoods in Weyburn that have something similar, including one on McGillivray Drive, set up by Tara McLeod.

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McLeod’s book-sharing box is also the first one in the city that was registered with the world-wide “Little Free Library” organization which posts box locations on the Internet, with 100,000 boxes now in place.

Vanessa and her daughter made the box together, with a little help from Vanessa’s husband on the door, and they put shingles on the roof after Googling how to do it.

The wood was from a barn on her family’s farm, and a portion of a deer horn from her husband is the door handle.

The little library was set up on the property line with their neighbours, and they even helped install the post for the library box to sit on. Vanessa called it a “community project” as other neighbours have helped keep the box stocked.

The idea of the little library is take-a-book, leave-a-book, and there is a selection of children’s and adult books on the two shelves.

“It’s on social media, and we’ve seen all kinds of people drive by and drop off books or pick one up,” said Vanessa. “I love to read, Sela loves to read, Brenda loves to read — we’re all a bunch of book nerds in this neighbourhood.”

She referred to her neighbour Brenda King, who has been helping to add children’s and adult books to the selection, as well as donating the stepping stones in front of the box. Their four-year-old neighbour, Lachlan, has been a frequent visitor, borrowing children’s books from the box.

“It’s a fun way to build community,” said Vanessa, who noted she has applied for a charter with the Little Free Library organization. They will send her a sign that she can put on the front of the box to indicate that it’s been registered.

People can go on littlefreelibrary.org and see the map that lists the library boxes which have been registered anywhere in the world.

“I’m hoping people will see it and maybe set one up in their neighbourhood,” said Vanessa. “I’m lucky enough to have good neighbours who allowed us to put this on the property line.”