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Books should be shared, says local daycare owner

BELLEVILLE – This Little Free Library is located at 30 Howard Street in West End Belleville. [1]

BELLEVILLE – This Little Free Library is located at 30 Howard St. in west-end Belleville.

By Katie Coleman [2]

BELLEVILLE – A local business owner wants to share her love of reading with the community.

Christine Garner is the owner of Wendy’s Little Footprints Daycare [3] on Howard Street in Belleville. On Dec. 19  she officially opened a Little Free Library on the front lawn of the daycare. The library functions as a take-a-book, leave-a-book system. This means when you borrow a book from the box you’re encouraged to leave a used book behind.

“It’s no strings attached … If you take a book there’s no obligation to leave a book or bring it back. It’s appreciated if you do,” Garner said. “It will encourage people to take books and encourage more reading.”

The movement has taken strong roots in cities like Ottawa and Toronto but it’s worldwide, according to Garner.

“It’s not just promoting literacy in our community; it’s promoting literacy in other countries as well.”

Little Free Library was started in 2009 [4] by a man named Todd Bol of Hudson, Wis. Bol built a model of a schoolhouse in honour of his mother and put books inside. A professor from the University of Wisconsin liked the idea and Little Free Library was born. By January 2014 there were an estimated 15,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide [5]. This includes places like Bogota, Colombia, and Hoima, Uganda.

“They were popping up all over Toronto and I thought, ‘Oh, that’d be awesome,’ and we decided to put one here for our community,” said Garner.

Garner reminisced about her childhood and how much reading helped her in school.

“It‘s an opportunity to learn so much,” she said. “It’s just a way to expand yourself.”

This is the first one put up in Belleville, but Garner said she hopes to spread the word.

Learn more at LittleFreeLibrary.org [6].

The Little Free Library is here: