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Little Free Library installed in Athabasca

Local family hopes it encourages people of all ages to read more
20200724 Little Free Library_SUB_WEB
A Little Free Library has been installed at 4606 31 St. in Athabasca to entice adults and youth into reading more. There will be a grand opening Aug. 6 from 2-4 p.m. hosted by the Goertz-Brix family who built it. Supplied

ATHABASCA – Founded in 2009 the Little Free Library project has become a global phenomenon with more than 90,000 registered sites in over 90 countries and will now include one in Athabasca to encourage reading for both adults and youth.

When founder Todd Bol started the Little Free Library using wood from a garage door his goal was to create 2,510 small, front yard book exchanges across the United States. That goal was met in 2012 prompting the non-profit to go global in 2016 and now Melinda Goertz, John Brix and their four children have installed one at 4606-31 St. for anyone to enjoy and share their love of reading. The premise is based on giving a book while taking a book so the library is always full.

“Our Little Free Library doesn’t just belong to us, it belongs to the whole town,” said Goertz.  

The Little Free Library nonprofit organization has been honored by the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation, and the American Library Association, and Reader’s Digest named them one of the “50 Surprising Things We Love about America.” Each year, nearly 10 million books are shared in Little Free Libraries. 

“We have a lot of children in the area walking to and from school or to play at the local parks. It’s our hope that this Little Free Library will bring a little more joy, a little more connection and a whole lot more books to our community,” said Goertz. 

There is no set design for each box but the nonprofit does encourage people use recycled materials. On their website they have designs from a red schoolhouse, a library with a living roof and a full-size Tardis based on the popular Doctor Who TV series. The only requirement is to register with the nonprofit to be allowed to use the name Little Free Library. 

The Goertz-Brix family decided to join the movement "to share books, bring people together and create communities of readers" and will be hosting a grand opening party Aug. 6 from 2:00 to 4:00 that is open to the public. 

“The celebration will include family‐friendly activities and refreshments,” Goertz said. 

To learn more visit 

Heather Stocking,
Follow me on Twitter @HLSox