Eleven Little Free Libraries placed in downtown Vancouver

May 09, 2018

By Kelsie Fo

Students in Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA) have repurposed and decorated 11 newspaper boxes into miniature lending libraries now available across downtown Vancouver.

A joint project with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), the boxes are known as Little Free Libraries where people can take, borrow or donate books in the spirit of community sharing.

Little Free Libraries is one of the DVBIA’s placemaking projects, which include revitalizing laneways and decorating electrical boxes. The goal is to improve public spaces around Downtown Vancouver to help people feel welcome, safe, engaged and happy.

This is the second collaboration between the DVBIA and SFU SCA students. In 2017, students painted the hoarding around the Harbour Centre building during renovations.

The Little Free Libraries can be found at the intersections of Alley Oop laneway and Granville St., Seymour St., West Hastings St., and West Pender St. and in Ackery’s Alley laneway behind the Orpheum Theatre and at Perch patio spaces.

For all library locations click here.

This story originally appeared in SFU News.

Call for books!

The little library located at Nelson Square was designed around the theme of mother-daughter relations and the passing down of knowledge, whether it be traditional/cultural knowledge or other knowledge, outside of the Western education system. Both having strong bonds with their mothers, the two SCA student designers of this little library looked at the mythical figure, the Wild Woman, in an effort to address powerful matriarchs.

These SCA students are looking for books written by women of colour, whether it be literature or artist zines. They are particularly interested in zines and books published by local women artists of colour and hope to cultivate a location for the community to read these works as well as to provide a platform for local women artists of colour to have their words heard.  

If you have books to donate that are related to this theme, please contact Kathy Feng at kathyfeng7@gmail.com.


11 Little Free Libraries placed in locations across downtown Vancouver.