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Sharing their love of books with the community

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Jennifer McRae-King (back, second from left), her mother Lori Nelson (back, centre), daughters Piper-Prairie (back, at far left), Poet (back, third from left) and Meguire (back, at right) help some young neighbours select books at the family’s Little Free Library at 2721 Lido Plage Rd.

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Jennifer McRae-King (back, second from left), her mother Lori Nelson (back, centre), daughters Piper-Prairie (back, at far left), Poet (back, third from left) and Meguire (back, at right) help some young neighbours select books at the family’s Little Free Library at 2721 Lido Plage Rd. Photo Store

The map of Little Free Libraries located across North America is filling up, and the McRae-King family now has a map marker for their Lido Plage library’s location.

The Little Free Library at the end of the McRae-King family’s driveway at 2721 Lido Plage Rd. is housed in a butter-yellow wooden house.

Jennifer McRae-King said family friend Gord Wilding built it to resemble the McRae-Kings’ unique house, tucked in behind the house owned by her mother, Lori Nelson.

McRae-King home-schools her three daughters, Meguire, 10, Piper-Prairie, 7, and Poet, 4. She said reading is a huge part of their education. They are regular visitors to the Headingley Municipal Library and the St. James-Assiniboia branch in Winnipeg.

"We’re big library users," she said.

Meguire is responsible for checking on the notebook in which borrowers sign their names when taking books out. She takes her job seriously, and said she’d like to work in a regular library when she’s older.

The library is weather-proof and Wilding added a solar light on top so it can be seen at night. So far, there are about 20 regular borrowers, mostly neighbours.

"It’s been a great way to have more communication with our neighbours," said McRae-King.

The Little Free Library movement is a non-profit trend that’s spreading around the world to promote literacy and a sense of community. Anyone can build a small structure on their property to house a collection of books that people are able to borrow at no charge. The owner of a Little Free Library can register it with the international group at www.littlefreelibrary.org, and by doing so their location will be added to the map.

The family came across the idea of the Little Free Library last year, and McRae-King decided she’d have one built as a Christmas gift for her mother and daughters.

"That was a wonderful surprise," said Nelson.

The little library can hold up to 60 books. McRae-King said they bought books at library book sales and went through their own collection to gather the books for the library’s opening on July 10.

She, her mother and daughters are making plans to add seasonal decorations around their Little Library, and have a hay bale placed next to it for anyone who wants to sit down at the library and do some reading.


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