So we need actual libraries, places where the books are stored, as much or more than we need third spaces and libraries of things.
Only by reaching out to the community at large can we fully understand how a neighborhood connects with the key resources in its midst.
In fact there’s a wealth of evidence to support the idea that books can help to boost good mental health. ‘Bibliotherapy,’ a term first coined by American essayist Samuel Crothers in a 1916 issue of Atlantic Monthly, means the art of using literature and reading as a healing activity. It’s widely accepted as a way to enhance wellbeing.
Enter the Vancouver Tool Library, which loans out more than 2,000 items. It is part of a movement of Libraries of Things (LoT), which are taking the classic “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra to new heights. These social enterprises share with the public everything from backpacks to boomboxes, baby carriers, and beer-brewing equipment. Some even rent ties and suit jackets for job seekers.
Recognizing the power of Little Free Libraries to transform communities, the Little Free Library organization recently launched the Action Book Club. The book club is like any other book club in that it brings people together to read and discuss books — what makes it unique is that it encourages its members to take a positive action in their communities.
The Lafayette Library and Learning Center is one of many libraries around the U.S. and the world that are reshaping themselves, inside and out, to meet the changing needs of their communities.
In the 1950s the celebrated writer and conservationist Roderick Haig-Brown and his wife Ann, a school librarian and fiery Catholic, built one such wordy paradise in their home by the Campbell River on Vancouver Island.