I decided to take this time to tell you about the Free Wee Library Project. It started in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, Ireland (where I lived for 3 years). It is an amazing idea and would be great if this could be done in England too.
Basically it is either an outdoor or indoor box (handmade) which acts on an honesty policy as a library. No due-dates, no fees.
Now this only works as long as you replace the book you “borrow” with another book. There is no rule about what book you can put in. Some people even leave National Geographic magazines!
There are a few of these boxes in Buncrana, dotted around. Two in Swan Park, one at Ned’s Point, one behind the Tourism office and one down by the Ardarvan Clinic in the town centre. There could be more but these are the ones that I have seen and used.
The project has become very popular with the locals (especially me!) and visitors to the town also take advantage of the huge range of books which can be found inside one of these “Libraries”.
This noble idea is going to be developed and hopefully there will be more of these boxes dotted around the country, as well as the rest of the world. It is a great excuse to sit down, in the park, or by the sea, and read! I know from my own personal experience that my step son LOVES looking to see if there are any children’s books and checking to see if anyone has taken a book he donated. I also use this opportunity to put BookCrossing labels inside the books I have read and donated (hopefully this will spread the word about that too).
Unfortunately there has been a few cases of vandalism to these beautiful boxes, which sadly is going to probably be an issue anywhere, as well as the vandalism of books (Ned’s Point library had the books ripped, pages pulled out and thrown all across the paths and car park). This has meant that those handcrafted boxes have had to be repaired on-site time and time again and books generously donated had to be replaced. Obviously this is teenagers with little respect for the voluntary efforts of these talented craftsmen/women.
Visit the website here to find out more about the idea and to order these boxes if you would like one for your local area. (As far as I know they ship them anywhere in the world).
Let’s all make this wonderful idea common knowledge throughout Europe!!!