Even if you’ve never used one, you’ve definitely seen them around.
“Little free libraries” are public book boxes where people are encouraged to “take a book, leave a book.” While you can find them all over the world, Greater Victoria hosts its own impressive collection.
The Greater Victoria Placemaking Network started mapping the region’s book exchange boxes with the help of Sarah Rose Robert of Oaklands Community Association in 2015 and updated it in 2016 with the help of Stephanie Ferguson and Teale Phelps Bondaroff from The Idea Tree Consulting.
Their map shows both locations and photos of Greater Victoria’s ever-growing collection of free book nooks. Some library locations still require photos or address confirmations.
If you want to find your closest little free library or know of an undocumented library somewhere in the CRD, check out the map on their website.
In addition to promoting a culture of literacy in the city, book exchange boxes are often cute, decorative additions to the neighbourhoods they’re built in.
The Setting Sun Little Free Library (9510 Glenelg Ave), Cedarcrest Little Free Library (574 Cedarcrest Dr), and Queens Ave Book Box (1215 Queens Ave) all boast beautiful paintings.
Meanwhile, Colwood Creek Park Libraries (3116 Antrobus Crescent) are shaped like tiny schoolhouses, and the Munro Street Library (1123 Munro St) sports angel wings.
The Alder Street Little Free Library (3158 Alder St) features local cartoonist Gareth Gaudin’s famous Perogy Cat. You can follow its collection (and a few others) on Twitter.
Some libraries have more selective collections, such as the Rose Garden Children’s Book Exchange (1 Governors Point Rd) and Hillside Coffee and Tea Poetry Lending Library (1633 Hillside Ave).
And like that last one, not all of the library locations are actually outdoor boxes.
JJ’s Coffee House Lending Shelf (7088 West Saanich Rd) and Vic West Book Exchange (Victoria West Community Centre, 521 Craigflower Rd) host book exchange shelves instead.
So which little library will you be visiting today?