Andy Falkiner with the free little library she has set up outside her Cloverdale home. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Little library builds community in Cloverdale

The theft of two chairs brought more support to the already bustling book nook

Up until the end of July, Andy Falkiner’s little free library looked the part of an idyllic book nook.

Situated at the end of her driveway at 5933 182 Street in Cloverdale, the little library featured a dollhouse full of Falkiner’s favourite books, two reclining porch chairs and a dog bowl of water. In front of the bookshelves, a chalkboard sign invited passers by to come and borrow her books.

But on Tuesday, July 31, someone took the two chairs from Falkiner’s library.

“I don’t think that many people sat on them,” she said. “But the whole look of it was a nice little scene.”

Upset, Falkiner posted about the theft on the Cloverdale Crime Watch Facebook group. But now, she’s says the theft has helped further the message of what her little free library is all about: community.

“In a way she’s done me a favour,” Falkiner said about the woman she saw taking the chairs on security footage. “Because new people in the neighbourhood have gotten in touch” to offer books and support.

And that, Falkiner said, was why she decided to create the library in the first place.

“I think a neighbourhood should be a better place because we are in it, not a worse place,” she said.

“I thought, well, this might be a good way to promote that sort of thing too,” she continued. “More community, and get to know some more people.”

The library has been up and running since the beginning of June, taking frequent donations from Falkiner’s book buying trips as neighbours have begun borrowing the books. In the last month, it has taken on a life of its own.

“You know when your little free library is successful because people start bringing stuff back,” she said, looking at the stacks of books in the shelves. “So this is just a hodgepodge of people’s offerings.”

“For me, that just delights me.”

The library is often used by families with children, Falkiner said, with children’s books being in high demand. But novels are popular too, and Falkiner is happy to chat with anyone who’s stopping by to borrow them.

“I’ve met the most extraordinary people through this,” she said. “They come up and if I’m outside I’ll come up and have a chat with them, just kind of shoot the breeze. It’s really lovely.”

The popularity and people around the library inspired Falkiner to take her community-building efforts even further. At the beginning of July, Falkiner hosted an English tea party in her driveway.

She set up tables and chairs up near the road, set with china and cakes. A friend helped her decorate the area in pink and white bunting.

“I was really in trepidation about it,” Falkiner recalled. “The library just stays there, but to actually participate knowing that you may actually have some response here. Oh my gosh.”

She needn’t have worried. Fourteen people came to the tea party, and although few people knew each other, “they all interacted. We had some good laughs,” she said.

With the success of the library and the tea party under her belt, Falkiner is thinking to the next event: a reading night for kids three to eight and their parents, held in Falkiner’s picturesque front lawn. She’s hoping that will take place sometime in August, but hasn’t made any concrete plans.

Until then, and likely after, the library will continue on, providing books and community to the people in Cloverdale’s suburban neighbourhood.

As for the chairs?

“I can replace the chairs, and I probably will,” Falkiner said. “I’ve got a couple of pink ones I’ll throw out here.”



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Andy Falkiner with her free little library in front of her Cloverdale home. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

‘Do or die’ time for Whalley, who fell in first game of Little League World Series

Team Canada goes down to powerful Panama in Williamsport, plays Spain Saturday

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

TONIGHT: Grand finale of Concerts at the Pier

East Beach event set to begin at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Surrey to host Western Regional Quidditch Championship in 2019

The fictional game in the Harry Potter series has become popular around the world, with 600 athletes in Canada alone

Island swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Most Read