In the summer of 2014, I was relaxing at my family's cottage in Muskoka and picked up a local newspaper. On the front page was a picture of a lady standing next to what looked like a bird house filled with books. Being a teacher-librarian, I was compelled to open up the paper to get the whole story! What I discovered was an underground world of individuals and communities who share a love of reading and community building.

Spurred on by more research about this Little Free Library "movement" at littlefreelibrary.org and a variety of news articles, I toured around Toronto with my son to see how these things worked.
Always wanting to find ways to inspire my students and their families to read, I thought putting a Little Free Library right in front of the school would be a great idea! My administration and fellow teachers were excited about it and, students thought it was pretty cool (although they were very concerned that someone would "steal" all of the books). And the excitement didn't stop there! Soon, my kids and husband agreed that we should have our own Little Free Library on our front lawn. Here it is:

Anyway, back to the RTMS Little Free Library...
Seeing as we tend to have harsh winters here in the great white north, a sturdy box was needed to hold  our precious books in the RTMS Little Free Library. The Toronto Star donated a refurbished newspaper box, our fabulous RTMS custodians cleaned it all up and then the RTMS Art Council went to work transforming a tired newspaper box into a vibrant library!

We had what is referred to in "the biz" as a soft opening in March, 2015, when we placed the little free library in the front foyer of Ruth Thompson Middle School. On November 12th, 2015, after RTMS students were well-versed on how the Little Free Library works, we moved it outside right next to the front door of the school. Now the entire community can share the experience!

We'll keep you updated on our progress and the reaction from RTMS staff and students as well as members of the community. Stay tuned!

Ann Shisko

ann1971ish (YouTube)