The Beyond Words group and members of Penticton council were on hand to celebrate the opening of the publically located Little Library next to City Hall. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

The Beyond Words group and members of Penticton council were on hand to celebrate the opening of the publically located Little Library next to City Hall. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Penticton welcomes first Little Free Library on public land

The take-a-book-leave-a-book library at City Hall was spearheaded by retired local educators

Penticton’s first publically located Little Free Library is now open next to City Hall.

The take-a-book-leave-a-book library — spearheaded by Beyond Words, a local group made up of retired educators and —opened with a small ceremony on June 22.

“We can all appreciate that books are a big part of our world,” said Viv Lieskovksy who is part of the Beyond Words group who spearheaded the library. “Even though you can read them on your phone, there’s something tangible about turning the page, like a newspaper.”

The library is the first of its kind to be located on public land in Penticton, with other existing libraries all located on private property throughout the community.

READ MORE: New Little Library going in beside Penticton City Hall

“As educators, the four of us — Bonnie Bodtker, Pam Butters, Janice MacIntyre and myself — really understand and appreciate the kids learning books, adults, literacy and all these good things,” said Livskovksy.

The group partnered with the city to find a space for the library, and found support from many in the local community.

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen provided $500 in funding for the installation, Matheson Creek Farms provided the orchard box that served as the base for the library, Princess Margaret Secondary students assembled the library and the students of Penticton Secondary did a book drive to fill its shelves.

The students at Princess Margaret have made around a dozen of little libraries from a variety of other materials, such as used skateboards. Lievskovsky said there are more libraries available should someone one to put one on their own property.

The city hall location is also not likely to be the last public space for a little library, as members of council expressed their interest in seeing them in other public parks across the city.

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