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Little Free Library at Knox: a little something to raise the community UP

Have you noticed the sweet new little outdoor building at Knox in Acton? It’s blue, and small, well super-small. More like an oversize birdhouse, actually. It houses books rather than birds. It sits on top of a post at the corner of Main and Knox Streets. A beautiful tribute to community service, literacy and the people of Acton. It’s a Little Free Library.

These little book exchange boxes, which operate on a “take a book, leave a book” principle, have been popping up all over North America since 2009. There’s another one in Halton Hills, in front of St. Albans in Glen Williams, for instance.

Marion Crumplen, of Knox’s Mission and Outreach Committee, explains that the idea was brought forward by fellow committee member, Jane Robertson. She had seen one while visiting her daughter in Belleville.

The concept dovetailed with an idea Knox had been exploring on neighbouring. “We thought this would be a way to reach out to our Acton community. Lending libraries are important but we also thought some children would love to own books,” says Crumplen.

The Little Free Library website highlights the fact that they provide access to books 24/7. It notes that through Little Free Libraries, people report they read books they may not have otherwise, they’ve met more neighbours on account of it, and they feel the neighbourhood becomes like a friendlier place. They’ve been called “mini-town squares.” Find more info at .

The project moved ahead quickly. “Bob Dyc made the book box. Janet Holdridge painted the sign. We had it placed at the front corner of the church, close to the sidewalk so as to be accessible in winter.”

She notes the little library has been well received. Knox minister Todd Nelson keeps an eye on it, and it is refilled on a regular basis.

A wide variety of books have come and gone from the library: Learn to read, first readers, Scholastic, Hardy Boys mysteries, Guinness World Book of Records, various genres of adult books.

Knox installed its Little Free Library last September. Says Crumplen, “We are happy to be doing a service, especially for the children. Reading is such an enjoyable pastime. It helps educate and we like to think it brings pleasure to the reader and those being read to.”

Any member of the public is encouraged to make use of Knox’s Little Free Library. Take a look, take a book!


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