Since August 2017, the GVPN Pocket Places Project has been delivering books to little free libraries (LFLs) around the region. This week, project lead Teale Phelps Bondaroff delivered the 75,000th book to a LFL. A copy of Phyllis Webstad’s “The Orange Shirt Story” was delivered to the Rutledge Park Little Free Library in Saanich.
The Pocket Places Project helps promote, stock, map, and build LFLs around the CRD. These little boxes of books, built and installed by members of the public and community groups, operate on the principle of “take a book – leave a book.” To date, the project has helped build and install over 100 LFLs and mapped out the 645 LFLs in the region, which has the highest documented density of LFLs in Canada.
Volunteer project lead and GVPN board member Teale Phelps Bondaroff regularly cycles around the region, delivering books to LFLs with a bike trailer. The GVPN also distributes books to people with their own LFLs and to volunteers who deliver them to LFLs in their neighbourhoods. While these books have usually been generously donated by local bookstores and the public, the 75,000th book was purchased through a GoFundMe set up by the GVPN to purchase children’s books about truth and reconciliation to place in LFLs.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported this GoFundMe and to everyone who supported the previous project that raised funds to deliver over 900 copies of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action booklet to LFLs across the region.
“With Orange Shirt Day around the corner, I thought that ‘The Orange Shirt Story’ was perfect to deliver as our 75,000th book,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff. “This book tells the true story of Phyllis Webstad’s first time at a residential school, and is the story of Orange Shirt Day. My hope is that this book can circulate through our amazing local LFL network and teach people about this important day of remembrance.”
In addition to sharing books, the GVPN has mapped LFLs that share toys, art and art supplies, poetry, puzzles and board games, yarn, non-perishable food, household items, seeds, and plants.
“People in the region love little free libraries and I’m constantly impressed with their creativity,” said Phelps Bondaroff. “These little book boxes bring people together and help transform public spaces, and in this way act as coral reefs for community.”