Visitors to Agassiz parks are in for a surprise.
The Friends of the Agassiz Library as well as library staff are excited to announce the grand opening of two “Little Free Library” kiosks in Shep Park and Pioneer Park in the District of Kent. The locations were officially opened on Wednesday, August 26.
The Agassiz Library is responsible for the initial stock of books in each kiosk. From its starting point, however, the little libraries are meant to continuously change using a “take a book, leave a book” system.
“If you find a really good book and haven’t got one to exchange, tan we hope you take it and just enjoy!” The Friends of the Agassiz Library wrote in a statement. Similarly, the Friends also suggest dropping off books you think are a good read if there’s room in the kiosk.
The Friends of the Agassiz Library extended a great deal of thanks to community support and volunteers, particularly Sam Nelson. The funding for the project came from a variety of activities put on by the Friends, including the locally famous Quiz night.
“AESS woodwork teacher John Pinto supervised Chayce Fader building them, art teacher Tammy Fox worked with Jessica Fleming to paint them but were interrupted by the school closing, so local painter Doug Platt finished them with paint supplied by Cloverdale Paint,” The Friends wrote. “Finally, the [roof shingles] were donated and installed by Bryan Scott of Scott’s Roofing.”
Friends member Elinor Bell came up with the idea of the kiosks within the town site last year after seeing similar projects see success in other Lower Mainland locales, including Harrison Hot Springs.
“About a year ago, I saw one of these on Vancouver Island, and I said ‘You know, Agassiz needs one of those,’” Bell said during the grand opening on Wednesday. “So I came back to the Friends of the Library and they were all very keen to support such a thing.”
A variety of district officials attended the grand opening, including Couns. Susan Spaeti and Kerstin Schwichtenberg, CAO Wallace Mah and Mayor Sylvia Pranger.
Bell told the modest, socially-distanced audience in attendance that the Little Library kiosks are now registered in a worldwide database of similar small libraries all over the world.
“It’s been wonderful to see so many people come together and make this project possible,” Bell concluded. “We hope that everyone will enjoy trading books and find that great read they’ve been looking for.”
Mayor Pranger expressed her gratitude for the essential volunteers that are responsible for so much throughout the district.
“The new book exchange is a wonderful example of how volunteers, community organizations, students and staff work together to make our community better,” Mayor Pranger said. “Without volunteers, we don’t have very much in our community, and I’m very, very grateful all the time for the many volunteers that we have in Agassiz.”
Mayor Pranger, Bell and fellow Friends volunteer Sam Nelson added their own books to the Pioneer Park collection at the end of the ceremony.
The opening was perfectly timed for the beginning of September. During the August 17 meeting of the District of Kent Council, Mayor Pranger declared September to be Literacy Month.
Please note while the kiosks will not be sanitized or cleaned between users that Friends volunteers are on hand to monitor them. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of COVID-19 transmission via paper products like books is very low; coronavirus is mostly spread through respiratory droplets through the air.