Amanda Howse and Butch Ballesteros’ Little Free Library sits on the corner of 53 Ave. and 51 St. in Ponoka, Alta., on Friday, April 2, 2021. Little Free Library is operating in more than 100 countries. (Photo by Madison Fleck/SAIT)

Amanda Howse and Butch Ballesteros’ Little Free Library sits on the corner of 53 Ave. and 51 St. in Ponoka, Alta., on Friday, April 2, 2021. Little Free Library is operating in more than 100 countries. (Photo by Madison Fleck/SAIT)

Little library emerges in Ponoka

By Madison Fleck

For Ponoka News

Two local residents have introduced the Little Free Library program to Ponoka.

Amanda Howse and her fiancé Butch Ballesteros wanted to give back to their community. Located on the corner of 53 Ave. and 51 St., the Little Free Library works through a ‘take a book, share a book’ system.

Howse was inspired by a similar program, the YIMBY Box (Yes, in my Backyard Box). Having worked on-and-off in libraries for the last 12 years, Howse says she values the importance of literacy and storytelling. Further investigation led her to Little Free Library, which not only provides starter kits, but also allows owners to register their little library on the website.

“Soon people will be able to search anywhere in the world and see that there’s a Little Free Library in Ponoka.” said Howse.

Since being set up in mid-March, there has been lots of interest in the little library. Howse and Ballesteros supplied their own books with a range of genres and literacy levels for all ages.

“We get a lot of foot traffic, so it’s a really good place for it,” said Howse.

The couple, having just moved from Red Deer, were eager to add their own Little Library to the streets of Ponoka.

Ballesteros states of their project, “We noticed there was no Little Library, so we thought why don’t we just put [one] in for the kids and people who love reading.”

Although kits are available through the program, Howse and Ballesteros decided to make their own library out of an old cupboard and spare materials lying around their home.

Little Free Library has more than 100 participating countries and is succeeding over 100,000 Little Free Libraries around the world. To see Ponoka as a registered Little Free Library, visit their website at www.littlefreelibrary.org.

Note: A free library had been set up at the Ponoka arena before it was closed due to COVID-19.

READ MORE: ‘Little Free Library’ moves into Ponoka arena complex

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