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‘Little Libraries’ being installed at borough parks to offer free books for all ages

Four green spaces in borough chosen including city's Palace Demesne

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Alderman Gareth Wilson is pictured with Leanne McShane and Arthur Alcorn in Lurgan Park at the launch of ‘Little Libraries’. © Edward Byrne Photography

A ‘novel’ way of reducing the number of perfectly good second-hand books that are thrown away after one read will be rolled out in Armagh City and beyond.

The so-called ‘Little Libraries’ scheme will be put in place at a number of green spaces in the borough, including the Palace Demesne in Armagh.

Four ‘Little Libraries’ – which are miniature wooden houses containing a small collection of books suitable for all ages and interests – have been installed in this council area.

In addition to the Demesne, near the play area, they will be found at Lurgan Park, beside the Gate Lodge, at Solitude Park, Banbridge – along the pathway close to the Park Wardens’ Office – and along the boardwalk at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre.

Little Library users can find a secluded spot in one of these picturesque settings where they can sit, relax and enjoy a good read, or if they prefer, borrow a book to bring home and read at their own leisure. Afterwards, they can return the book to the little library and choose another.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Gareth Wilson explained the main benefits.

“I am fully supportive of this scheme because it not only promotes the reduction of paper wastage, but also encourages people to extend the use of their unwanted books by passing these on so that others can enjoy them,” he said.

“Council officers have kindly donated the first batch of ‘Little Libraries’ books but local communities can support the scheme by placing their pre-loved books in their nearest little library provided they are in good condition.

“Furthermore, book worms in the borough won’t have to buy brand new books all the time as our ‘Little Libraries’ will provide a regular supply of suitable reading material.

“Reading is a great pastime that helps feed the imagination and stimulate the mind. With social media and technology changing the way we communicate, I hope ‘Little Libraries’ will help inspire a love for reading among local communities.

“It’s important to remember that reading is invaluable in that it helps us acquire knowledge, expand our vocabulary, improve our memory and writing skills.”

Council staff who work at Restore – the re-use facility located at Banbridge Recycling Centre that refurbishes and sells on second-hand household furniture and electrical goods to the public at a reduced cost – made the ‘Little Libraries’ wooden houses.

Parents must accompany children when choosing a book from a Little Library in order to ensure it is appropriate reading material for their child.

Only two other councils in Northern Ireland operate a ‘Little Libraries’ scheme.

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