Janneke Barten is excited to graduate this year, but she has left a “piece of her heart” at Laurier Brantford in a new book-sharing space called the Little Free Library.
The Little Free Library is the first book-sharing space of its kind at Wilfrid Laurier University and was designed to encourage community and collaboration on the Brantford campus. The Little Free Library was a final class project by Barten and Nicole de Soysa - two upper-year Concurrent Education and English students under the direction of Professor Ian Grey.
The Little Free Library provides a comfortable, community setting for students and faculty to gather and share their love of literature.
The Little Free Library opened on March 31st in the SC Johnson building and has since partnered with Laurier, academics and administrative staff, students and the broader Brantford community.
“I chose to complete this project because I love the idea of creating a vibrant, inclusive community in Brantford and I thought that the Little Free Library would be a great way to do this,” said Jannake.
Jenneke stressed the importance and influence that Professor Ian Grey had in the creation of the Little Free Library. Not only did he support students, he inspired them to positively impact their community. “Students all over Laurier Brantford are shocked and astounded that there are students that are actually making a big difference and changing their circumstances here,” she said.
Jenneke is hopeful that the Little Free Library will continue to grow due to support from students, faculty and administrative staff. “We have been very well supported by our school and our community,” she said. To date we have had over 60 books donated by students, professors and local bookstores. We hope to be able to continually grow in our ability to create a sense of community and a safe space for students to engage with each other and with the material that they are reading.”
“It is nice to leave something behind. I feel like I am physically part of the fabric of the school,” she said.