Free pop-up libraries are on the streets of downtown Vancouver

May 9 2018, 5:25 pm

Students in Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA) have repurposed and decorated 11 newspaper boxes into free pop-up libraries, now available across downtown Vancouver.

A joint project with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), the boxes are known as Free Little Libraries where people can take, borrow, or donate books in the spirit of community sharing.

“These [newspaper] bins are not used anymore to distribute magazines, so they will be turned into little exchange libraries,” said Sabine Bitter, an associate professor at SFU. “It will be open to everybody who wants to take out a book, and hopefully bring in another book.”

Free Little Libraries is one of the DVBIA’s placemaking projects, which include revitalizing laneways and decorating electrical boxes.

The goal is to improve public spaces around Downtown Vancouver to help people feel welcome, safe, engaged, and happy.

The Free Little Libraries can be found at the intersections of Alley Oop laneway and Granville St., Seymour St., West Hastings St., and West Pender St. and in Ackery’s Alley laneway behind the Orpheum Theatre and at Perch patio spaces.

This is the second collaboration between the DVBIA and SFU SCA students. In 2017, students painted the hoarding around the Harbour Centre building during renovations.

A full list of library locations is available here.

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