Community Papers

Abbotsford gets first Little Free Library

Jacqueline Ashby
Jacqueline Ashby's son, three-year-old Griffin, serves as the Little Library Assistant and helps mom sort books at the Selkirk Ave. Little Free Library.
— image credit: Supplied

There's a little wooden structure on Selkirk Avenue full of books, pencils, and holiday chocolates. Kids and adults visit several times per day to take out something to read, and return something if they can.

It's the first Little Free Library in Abbotsford; in fact, in the Fraser Valley. Local mom and education doctorate graduate Jacqueline Ashby constructed and installed the little library on her front lawn with $791 earned from Kickstarter supporters.

She launched the officially registered LFL 9442 – affectionately known as Skookum – on Dec. 14, 2013. She has also partnered with The Book Man, which has donated 500 books to the library.

Ashby maintains a colourful blog about what Skookum is reading. The current selection has works by Roald Dahl, Rick Riordan, Suzanne Collins, Umberto Eco, and James A. Michener. Just a few weeks in, and local residents have already dropped off their favourites for others to read, such as A Brief History of Time, The Help, and The Radiant City.

"Currently, I am concentrating on providing my neighbourhood with the best little library and encouraging others to build and launch their own," Ashby said. "Abbotsford is a community of artisans and craftsmen and I am excited to see what little libraries are birthed from my neighbours' creativity and imagination."

While Ashby does not have plans to install more libraries, the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas is moving ahead on installing several in city parks.

Club members are converting three old Vancouver Sun newspaper boxes into Little Free Libraries, confirmed the club's literacy committee chairperson Bente Hansen. The club is starting with three boxes in Mill Lake, with city permission.

Skookum Reads little free library

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