|9 Wood Street East, Hamilton, ON|
So, I'm driving my son to his friend's home in Hamilton, and with two eyes on the road - ok, one and a half - I spot something unique...at least to me. Now, I can't say I'm a globetrotter by any stretch of the imagination, but I have read a lot, and I like to think I pay attention to things that many people view as the visual form of 'white noise. If I haven't seen it, I've at least heard, or read about it. Not quite. Not even close. This so-called white noise that I see is in the shape of an old schoolhouse perched atop a pole. No - it's not a birdhouse or a leftover version of 'The Burning Schoolhouse' of last week's May 2-4 fireworks display; it's a library! It's a mini library - about 2 cubic feet. But, I can't stop. This landmark is bookmarked for memory.
About 3 minutes later, using my fail-safe short term memory, I relocated the 'library on a stick' and decided to stop and have a closer look. It was remarkable...this head scratcher is called "The Little Free Library". Inside this 'library' were about a dozen or so books with a smaller section below containing children's books. On the little window, there was a sign "Take a Book - Return a Book". Brilliant! It was a free resource for the community to share books with one another and encourage reading.
Doing a little web research on the "Little Free Library" opened up a wonderful story of the library's originators and the success story it has become throughout the world. In 2009, with a modest goal of initiating 2,509 mini libraries in the United States, it now boasts of over 25,000 throughout the world. Apparently, there are 2 in Burlington, 2 in Dundas, and 4 in Hamilton - all within a 15 minute drive! Huffington Post, NBC News, and the Saturday Evening Post have all run stories on this remarkable effort.