Toronto’s New Little Free Library Turns Strangers Into Friends

Toronto libraries just got their biggest little competition and it’s called The Little Free Library.

The Little Free Library is located inside the studios of Toronto Dance Salsa (TDS), the two-storey structure holds books of all sizes, all of which were donated by the school’s students. It encourages people to ‘take a book, leave a book,’ and promotes a community exchange of classic, favourite, quirky and everything-in-between books.

“First, we set up a TV outside the school and showed videos of people doing random acts of kindness all day long. People loved it so we left it up, but it also got us thinking – how can we inspire even bigger things?” said Evan Carmichael, TDS owner, “that’s when we decided to open The Little Free Library.”

Anyone may take a book to read or leave a book for others to enjoy.

The Little Free Library operates on an honour system to stay replenished. The structure itself is manufactured by a non-profit organization using recycled materials. According to Carmichael, books have already been flying off the shelves, with new ones appearing just as quickly.

However The Little Free Library is more than just encouraging reading, he said. It is about creating a place for exchange, for dialogue, and for fun.

“We’re a dance school, but we’ve always been about more than that. We’re a family, we support each other, and we believe in supporting our community. That’s why we promote other local businesses, we encourage our students to do volunteer work, we hold fundraisers for causes like the fires in Fort McMurray, and now we’re hoping our lending-library idea will promote a sense of goodwill, trust, and community at a time when the world needs it most,” said Carmichael.

“The more we can get people talking to each other and helping each other, the more we can turn strangers into friends, the better off we’ll all be. Plus, it’s fun; you’ll find titles in there that you won’t find anywhere else, and about things you never even knew you were interested in!”

The Little Free Library will remain accessible to the public during the school’s open hours of operation.