Community Libraries


Building a Community Library

It all started a few months ago when I attended a provincial conference where participants were encouraged to do something for their communities. I just couldn’t think of anything at the time that I could take on!

Then, on a family trip to Prince Edward Island, on the boardwalk in Charlottetown, I saw a small community library. One of those places where you take a book or leave a book.

I took a picture of it, and sent it to our town office and asked what needed to be done so we could have one in our town.

I was told to go forth and do it and they would support me!

This started our family project of the Wee Kentville Library.

Read more about the story in a newspaper article that was written about the project.

Luckily, my husband volunteered to help, as he is quite handy. So, most of the credit goes to him. I was merely the project manager.

There are many ideas and plans available on Pinterest to help you get started.

The RE Used Resale store in New Minas donated a wooden book case for the cause.


Without plans, my husband built a roof for the bookcase, and then shingled it.

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He then built a door using slats of hardwood flooring, and plexiglass.


My sons helped to paint it (with outdoor paint donated by the town).


Then, our friend and neighbour, Jim, came over to paint the words on the bookcase.


We ended up with


Kentville’s Wee Library
Take a Look or Take a Book.



With the library assembled, we handed it over to the town who installed it in Miner’s Marsh in Kentville. This is a boardwalk trail around a marsh, and is a popular walking place with the town.


The library has been a huge success!

Within hours of posting it on the town’s Facebook page, nearly 3200 people saw the post, 83 people liked it and 17 people shared it (with more likes and shares from those posts).

Within days, the library had already had a steady stream of visitors. This has not stopped.


People that I didn’t even know came up to me to thank me for the library and tell me how successful it had been!

In the first few weeks, we are having to refill the library every few days! Thanks to the Annapolis Valley Library who provided us with boxes of discarded books to get us started!

My favourite moment was going to the marsh to check on the library and seeing a family sitting on a bench, reading a book. This is what it’s all about!

In the box, we tried to put a few nature books that people could use during their visit. Although they were labelled MARSH COPY, they still seem to disappear. But, at least they are books being put to good use!

I think it’s safe to say we have a hit!

With so much use, the door to the library came off the hinges and had to be rebuilt so they opened sideways and not up and down. This put less pressure on the hinges.


I have been approached by other communities who would like to build a wee library. It’s a wonderful idea, and I hope we see a few more wee libraries across the Valley!

Stay tuned for one coming in Port Williams later in the fall!

Does this inspire you to try one in your community? I hope so!


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