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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Free Libraries

Free libraries have been cropping up in more and more communities.  What is a free library?  It’s a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange.   Free libraries come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books.  Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share.

Amongst my favourite free libraries are the book trees in Renfrew County where I grew up.  Free Community Book Trees are currently located in Petawawa, Killaloe, Arnprior, Pembroke, Cobden, and in Bonnechere Ontario Provincial Park.  In an area where forestry was a major industry, it is appropriate that already fallen trees from local forests are used.  There’s a Facebook page with photos of the various book trees: 

The Bonnechere Park tree is unique as it is the first inside a provincial park. Made out of a massive 100-year-old white pine that fell during a wind storm two years ago, this Book Tree is crowned with an authentic Pointer Boat ( 

When visiting a community, why not hunt out the free libraries.  The Globe and Mail even did a feature article on some free libraries in Toronto:  There’s even an organization which can help you find these in your travels:

If you would like to build a free library where you live, you can find advice here:   And check out the tips from someone who has a free library: