The 300th little free library (LFL) in the CRD has been installed! The ‘Moss Rocks Little Library’ was installed at the corner of May St. and Joseph St., Victoria on May 23, 2020. The LFL, built by Jim Pungente, is accompanied by two reading benches, and has two solar-powered lights to help people pursue its collection. The installation of this LFL solidifies Victoria as the city with the highest density of LFLs in Canada!
“The Moss Rocks Little Library, with its accompanying benches, is a place you can sit and relax while perusing one of the treasures within,” explains Jim Pungente, builder of the 300th LFL, which is located conveniently next to a bus stop. “The benches serve two purposes: as a place you can read a few pages of a book you think you might like, and also to wait for a bus. This bus stop picks up students going to Camosun College or to Uvic. You may want to finish your homework sitting on the bench while waiting for your bus or just relax and read something from the library. It is yours to enjoy.”
Little free libraries are little book boxes that operate on the principle of ‘leave a book – take a book’ and they can be found throughout the city in all shapes and sizes. For the past four years the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network (GVPN) has been mapping LFLs across the CRD, and celebrating milestones. The GVPN also runs the Pocket Places Project which helps people install their own LFLs, and helps top up collections with fresh books. To date, the project has helped set up dozens of LFLs, and this week, Teale Phelps Bondaroff, the Pocket Places Project lead delivered the project’s 15,000th book to a LFL in Fernwood.
“There’s a magic to little free libraries. Whenever I’m out cycling around dropping off books to little free libraries, I meet fascinating people and fall into interesting conversations,” says Phelps Bondaroff. “Little free libraries don’t just help share books throughout the city, they also help foster community. These days, people realize that now, more than ever, we need points of connection in our shared public spaces.”
People seem to be taking advantage of the current situation to get creative. The number of LFLs that have been installed in the past month has been considerable: the GVPN is aware of at least six new LFLs that have been set up in the past two weeks.
“Amid all the disconcerting pandemic news, people are aching to contribute to others in small ways. LFL’s provide tangible means of saying, ‘we are connected…we care,”’ says Jim LaMorte, GVPN Secretary and Treasurer. “Sharing books with strangers through LFLs says ‘we are all in this together’ loud and clear.”
The full map of the 300+ LFLs in Victoria can be found here.