I was walking down Hereford Street in downtown Christchurch today, on my way to a meeting, when I spotted this on the sidewalk at a property entranceway …
Isn’t it a classic??! It must surely claim the title of The Littlest Library in the World, wouldn’t you agree?
The sign taped on it says:
“Escapist Library> (don’t you just love that?!)
Please Borrow, Donate & Exchange books!
Tell your friends and family – let’s make this a community of readers.
We are in desparate need of donations of books. This system only works if books are returned, exchanged and donated.”
I know there are a number of Gap Filler projects (http://www.gapfiller.org.nz/ – see note below*) scattered around the city, and there were many stories of ad hoc exchanges of various kinds being set up after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, but I think this is definitely one of the cutest! I might just have to raid my home library and see if I can’t donate a few books towards it – and being the cat lover that I am, I also might have to investigate that book that’s presently in there entitled, “Cat’s Eye” …
Something else very funny happened while I was taking these photographs. A very sprightly elderly gentleman, nattily attired in sports shoes, sunhat, singlet and shorts (it was a hot day, after all) and obviously out for a brisk walk, stopped beside me and said in a loud voice, “Are you all right? You’re not lost, are you?” (I’m thinking, OK, he obviously thinks I’m a tourist and possibly no speaka da English …). I smilingly replied, “Yes, thank you, I’m fine, I’m just taking a photograph of this “library” – I reckon it must be the littlest library in the whole world!” To which he responded – wait for it: “Oh, that’s just a temporary library, the earthquake got the main one!” Bless him, he totally made my day, I smiled all the way to my meeting and all the way through it as well! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Do you live close to a library, or can you get to one easily? I just love visiting Christchurch’s libraries – each of them has a different character and ambience, some of them with lots of add-ons such as community meeting rooms and TVs and computers and courses and workshops and special play areas for kids, not to mention wonderful cafes and outstanding staff; while others are a little more laid back and gentile, not quite so brash and in your face. I’m not quite sure which I prefer … I guess it depends on what my mood is at the time – sometimes all I want is a quiet space where I can browse and savour what’s available without noisy children and high school kids chattering and the clatter of cups and plates in the cafe; but there are other times when I relish the ‘up-marketness’ and all the mod cons and high tech gadgets you can play with. What is always wonderful, and what I appreciate every time I set foot in the door of any library, is the opportunity to discover things I didn’t know before; find new authors or enjoy old favourites; learn a new hobby or pick up tips and suggestions on an existing one: there’s always something there to interest and entertain, and I feel very fortunate to have access to such wonderful resources.
So, librarians of the world, you have my support and thanks: keep up the good work! 🙂 🙂
* Gap Filler: Gap Filler aims to temporarily activate vacant sites within Christchurch with creative projects, to make for a more interesting, dynamic and vibrant city.