On a recent visit to Vancouver Island I had the opportunity to visit a wonderful little library that takes the community-led library approach to a whole new level.
The community of Nanoose Bay is located between the larger communities of Parksville and Nanaimo, and is home to about 5,000 people. In 1974, a local resident donated his personal collection of 1000+ books to the community, and the Nanoose Bay Community Library Center was born. The library is run entirely by volunteers, who catalogue and shelve the collection, purchase new titles (a volunteer told me that they add on average 60 titles to their collection every month, through purchases and donations), process circulation and put on several major fundraisers every year. Members pay a $6 annual fee to join, and can borrow from a diverse collection which includes a range of fiction and non-fiction titles.
The library is housed in an absolutely adorable log house, and offers a sweet party space in the back that is perfect for community celebrations and events.
The Nanoose Bay Community Library Center is a great example of what can happen when people band together to create a meaningful resource that fills in need in their community. It’s also pretty darn adorable.