Proposal to install a Little Free Library on campus
By Valerie Franklin (Vice President – Otter)
May 14, 2014
WHAT: A Little Free Library is a public bookshelf that works as a lending library on the honour system. Readers take a book or leave a book, and are encouraged to leave a friendly note for the next reader on the inside cover of the one they just borrowed. The English Students Association would be responsible for visiting it at least once weekly to maintain the structure and its content (for example, magazines, tracts, and other materials may be removed).
WHY: A Little Free Library is a great way to promote a love of literature, especially in the busy world of academia which often keeps students from reading for pleasure. In addition, leaving post-it notes with personal book reviews inside the front covers of the books would promote a sense of community, making the experience of borrowing books a little friendlier for the next person. An LFL would also promote ESA’s presence in the school, particularly if the association’s name was painted somewhere on the structure or if ESA bookmarks were tucked inside the books.
WHEN: Our goal is to complete and install the LFL this summer so that it’s operational by the first day of the Fall semester.
WHERE: Many LFLs are placed outdoors in neighbourhoods or parks, but due to the costs of creating a weatherproof structure (and possible damage to the books with insects, leaks, snow, etc.), ours will be installed inside one of the campus buildings. We must have a structure and know where we want to put it before we can ask for permission to install it (see “HOW”). There are many spots on campus where the LFL could find a good home: in the Great Hall, where people often have to line up or wait to get into OReg; in one of the many lounge areas, like in A300 overlooking the bus stop, or in C building outside C1429; in U-House; or simply in a high-traffic hallway. It also wouldn’t be very difficult to move it, and it might be fun to move it to different locations every semester.
HOW: The first step is to get a structure. Val is waiting to hear back from the library about extra bookshelves; if they don’t respond by our next meeting, we will discuss our alternatives as a group (options include getting a secondhand bookshelf from MCC, or getting the Trades students or Jess Wind to build us one). The next step is to choose a location. Then we have to get permission from the university to place it there; Martin Kelly can help hook us up with the right people for this. Once we have received permission to install our LFL on campus, we will paint it, place it in the chosen location, fill it with books, and put up a sign explaining the rules of an LFL.
What we need:
-Permission to put a bookshelf in a corridor or lounge
-A bookshelf in good condition
-Paint (perhaps the VA department can help?)
-Optional: a charter sign, making it an official Little Free Library ($34.95 online)
-Optional: an LFL stamp, preventing resale of the book ($12.95 online)