Back in March I read an article in The Rotarian about an age-old idea of a take one/return one library being revitalized throughout North America by a US based rotarian and his company Little Free Library. I thought this would be a perfect fit for Annie Williams Park. After thinking about how to make this happen, I came to the realization that my plate was just a little too full to do anything about it right now, however I kept the article beside my chair in hopes that one day we could make it a reality. Little did I know that day was not too far off, Just a short distance away, my friend Jessica Tickle was reading the same article and she immediately thought "I want one in my neighbourhood!" Her first call was to me to see if Annie Williams Park was interested. I took this as an amazing example of putting something out to the universe and wait and see what comes back.
The initial idea of a cute little library made from recycled materials quickly evolved when Jessica approached John Kerr from Back Yard Stuff chainsaw carving on Highway 11. His enthusiasm for the project was outstanding. He envisioned something much more permanent and artistic and offered his expertise and his relationships with chainsaw artists to create the sculpture that was installed today. Artist, Scott Rowe has done a fabulous job.
A small committee of interested neighbours quickly formed to help collect books and maintain the library. While digging the huge hole needed to prep the site, I asked our youngest committee member, Alex Quemby (11yrs old), why she wanted to get involved and she replied "I love reading and I think other kids my age do too! I can't wait to trade good books with them". In an era of computers and smart phones, I am enthused to hear that this Little Free Library is still of interest to a younger generation of readers.
The three service clubs supporting the Park, Rotary Club of Bracebridge, Rotary Club of Bracebridge-Muskoka Lakes & Bracebridge Lions Club are active participants in making this vision a reality. The Annie Williams Park Board will proceed with an official registration through the Little Free Library website (littlefreelibrary.org)
Throughout the project, everyone involved has shared the common goal of fostering neighbourhood relationships and giving back to our community.
The library will start with a focus toward books for children and young-adult readers but will blossom into whatever the community gives back to it.
Thank you for your interest in this worthy project. Remember to think about our Little Free Library in the park after you finish a great book!
Cathryn Willard, Chair
Annie Williams Memorial Park BOD