Winchester’s Little Free Library re-opens to the public

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by Hayley Bedford

The Winchester Little Free Library on Church Street had to close its tiny, glass-panelled door in April last year due to COVID-19. But as of July 5, that adorable little door has been unlocked, and the books inside are available to the public once more.

The Little Free Library was established in 2014 by local resident Cathy Cullen who was inspired to set up the library after seeing a couple of similar installations while visiting her daughter in Toronto.

After discussing the idea of bringing a library to Winchester with her family, Cathy’s son in-law Ryan and her then 4-year-old grandson, Cash, built the Little Library in secret and presented it to Cathy for Christmas in 2014.

Shortly after that, Cathy’s daughter, Samantha, registered the library with the official ‘Little Free Library’ book sharing movement, and the Winchester Little Free Library was born.

The vision of the movement is to inspire and empower readers by making books accessible for all. The concept is to ‘take a book, share a book’, although Cathy admits that she has quite a ‘Back Stock’ of used books; so if you don’t have a book to leave, you are still welcome to take one.

Unfortunately, the library did sustain some damage a few years ago, but was graciously repaired and given a facelift by an unknown neighbour who just wanted to help. Cathy say’s “It has become a community run library for sure”.

The Winchester Little Free Library is located at 520 Church Street and, in Cathy’s words, “Welcome back and Happy reading!”

For more information on the Little Free Library movement visit its website www.littlefreelibrary.org, or follow it on Facebook, www.facebook.com/LittleFreeLibrary.

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