Brookswood library restored through community kindness

Brookswood library restored through community kindness

After years of wear and tear, residents of Brookswood are coming together to refurbish little free library

A worn and torn Little Free Library has been saved by the residents of Brookswood in a bout of overwhelming community spirit.

When Emily McGuire set up the cabinet three years ago to share books within the community, she had no idea it would take off in the way that it did.

“There’s always somebody at it. So many people use it – it’s become a meeting point for the community.”

Little Free Library is an organization that began 10 years ago as a way to encourage reading to those who may not have access to books while also bringing communities closer. With over 3,000 registered libraries, the idea is that anyone can borrow a book as long as they leave one in return.

The library quickly became a noticable feature in Brookswood, standing tall at 200th Street and 37A Avenue with its brightly painted door.

“Everyone takes care of it.” McGuire said. “They keep it stocked.”

READ MORE: Brookswood residents connect through Little Free Library

Rainy weather proved to be problematic for the wooden base, while frequent usage and even mishandling left the library in bad condition.

“A year ago, someone smashed the door. I tried to fix it best I could.” McGuire also explained that an unknown neighbour took the task of tightening the hinges on occasion, but it wasn’t enough to restore the local landmark to the way it once was.

McGuire opened a Facebook Group for the library when it was first established back in 2016. With 200 followers, she reached out to anyone that could help restore the scraped and faded structure.

Darryl and Rona Schroeder, local Wood in the Shed hobbyists agreed to help as soon as the call came.

“We got tagged on the facebook community page,” Rona explained. Out of the kindess of their hearts, the Schroeders began piecing a new frame back together.

The rebuild has since taken on a life of its own, with Dead Level Construction stepping in to install a pressure-treated pole so the library stays securely in place. Volunteers have also contributed new plexi-glass and joints that will make the cabinet more durable.

The Brookswood library now stands tall in the neighbourhood with a completely fresh look.

McGuire said, since the library was removed, Facebook followers and door-knocking neighbours instantly voiced their concern. “When we took it down, I had to put a sign to explain where it went.”

Darryl Schroeder says this is a perfect example of small town community spirit in Langley. “People always say were growing so fast and getting too big, but…no! We’re not.”

McGuire said she was overwhlemed by the amount of people who have not only embraced the little library, but stepped up when it needed help.

“I would like to say thank you. I feel humbled how everyone has loved and used and taken care of it. They have kept the library going.”

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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Brookswood