December 13, 2013 9:30 pm
Updated: December 13, 2013 9:51 pm

Oliver neighbourhood taking novel approach to community-building


EDMONTON – Take a book, leave a book: that’s the idea behind the Oliver community’s Little Free Libraries.

They’re old newspaper boxes transformed into colourful, miniature libraries filled with books of all kinds – ready for the picking. There are already three in the community and seven still looking for homes.

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It all started when the Oliver Community League was brainstorming how to distribute its newsletter. Annalise Klingbeil took that idea one step further, turning it into a Make Something Edmonton initiative, after being inspired by Little Free Libraries in Calgary.

Her motivation was to help bring the community together. And it seems to be working.

“I put in 10 books to start, and within the first three days, those books had already turned over three times,” said Tammy-Jo Mortensen, who’s in charge of one of the boxes.

“It’s creating this cool sense of community, I’ve seen people stop and look and I’ve seen people start conversations at the box – all kinds of things.”

Members of the community have also worked together to decorate the book bins.

Oliver residents come together to decorate the Little Free Libraries

Make Something Edmonton

Local artist Kimberley Robertson had the pleasure of working on one of them, choosing “community” as her theme.

She used photographs of people from different parts of the world while decorating the Little Library – one she’s happy seems to be letting people be a part of each other’s lives in a unique way.

Part of the book bin Kimberley Robertson decorated using images from National Geographic.

Global News

“I think it’s exciting,” she said.

“Everybody seems to be in a digital world…looking at their phones and computers. And everybody is segregated,” she said. “So this is a good way to open up that door.”

You can find out more about the project on the Make Something Edmonton page.

Follow @TrishKozicka

With files from Shane Jones, Global News

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