Little library opens in Rutledge Park

Group in process of mapping out all free community libraries in Greater Victoria

Stephanie Ferguson shelves the first book at the Rutledge Park Little Free Library.

Stephanie Ferguson shelves the first book at the Rutledge Park Little Free Library.

Residents of Saanich’s Quadra Cedar Hill neighbourhood now have easier access to a host of free reading material.

Thanks to the work of a pair of local residents, a little free library has opened at Rutledge Park.

“We love little libraries and the concept of sharing resources and creating community,” said Stephanie Ferguson, who moved into the neighbourhood about two years ago with partner Teale Phelps Bondaroff.

“We noticed a lot of condo buildings, a lot of apartment buildings, so we figured it kind of had the density to warrant a library in the park. There would be enough traffic and enough books in the neighbourhood to have a little library in Rutledge Park. So we got in touch with Saanich Parks and they agreed with us and the rest is history I guess.”

After getting approval from Saanich Parks and the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association, the couple set about constructing the little library.

“My partner and I just paid for it out of pocket but it wasn’t too much, just the cost of the wood and the stain,” said Ferguson, who estimates the library can hold 40 or 50 books.

Little libraries allows residents to drop off books for their neighbours to read or pick something up to take home for themselves.

“So if you have a book that you want to share because you love it or you’re just trying to pare down a few of your possessions, you can leave it in the little library. People are welcome to take books home and read them, pass them along again when they’re done with them or keep them forever,” said Ferguson.

She said the concept is growing in popularity, pointing to seed libraries, tool libraries and toy lending libraries that are taking shape throughout Greater Victoria.

“We hope that this little library brings neighbours closer together and provides a miniature hub for reading in the community,” said Ferguson. “Rutledge Park provides an ideal, central location in the neighbourhood for the library and we’re very grateful to Saanich Parks for their support in this project.”

The couple are now collaborating with the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network to map out all of the little library boxes throughout Greater Victoria.

“We volunteered to update their map. I think we have data on 40 of them so far, and that’s just from Twitter,” said Ferguson.

People can submit the location of a little library by going to victoriaplacemaking.ca/projects and filling out the details for the location.

“We will take that information and put it on a Google map,” said Ferguson.