We’ve got four of these already in Hunt Club, but I’ve only found three! One in the sector between McCarthy Rd and Plante Drive, and two in the Hunt Club Woods sector. Apparently there is a third one there on Singer Place. I’ve looked for it, but can’t see it. If you find it, please post it here. So far, none in Quinterra-Woods (West of Riverside Drive) nor in Hunt Club Estates (between Hunt Club Rd + the Hydro Right-of-Way and McCarthy Rd).
So, why not erect a whole bunch more of these free little libraries throughout our community? We know we are a reading community without our own public library branch, so this is one way we can share our love of books with one another, all within walking distance.
If you are of the ‘handy person persuasion’, here are instructions to build and install your project:
As the crow flies, the nearest library branch to Quinterra and Hunt Club Woods (Riverside and Uplands), is Emerald Plaza. According to Google maps that is a 75-minute walk. The Greenboro Branch is a 72-minute walk, the Alta Vista Branch 67-minutes. Not a 15-minute walkable neighbourhood!
Recognizing the excessive distance, the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) installed a “Kiosk” at the Hunt Club Riverside Park Community Centre, a 25-minute walk. There, in normal times, you can pick up a reserved book, or return one, and select from an extremely limited selection in a vending-type machine. However, kiosk service has been unavailable for much of these times of COVID while those three branches have been open mostly for limited service.
It is quicker by bus. To Greenboro takes 33 minutes, to Alta Vista and Emerald Plaza 41 minutes. Those are mid-afternoon times which are the most popular at libraries.
Cycling takes 20 minutes to Emerald Plaza, 22 minutes to Greenboro and Alta Vista. You take your life in your hands for some of those routes along high traffic roads without a dedicated lane for cyclists.
The bus and cycling both take 8 minutes to the Hunt Club Riverside Park Community Centre. An OPL branch there would provide equitable library service to that of most of urban Ottawa for the whole of Hunt Club from the Rideau River to Sawmill Creek. We pay the same property tax rate as other areas but do not receive equivalent service.
If you favour a full range of library services for Hunt Club, like other neighbourhoods, drop an email to our Councillor who sits on the Library Board, at Riley.Brockington@Ottawa.ca or phone his office at: 613-580-2486. Just tell him you want equitable library service for Hunt Club at the community centre.
Hunt Clubbites are readers! As a way to share their reading materials, skilled and creative residents have built and erected ‘Free Little Libraries’ throughout our Hunt Club community. These are basically large boxes with a door that shuts tightly, mounted on a post. People place books that they have already read in the box. Others come and take one of the books, often replacing it with one or more of their own which they have already enjoyed reading. The idea is to promote and nurture a reading community.
Here are the three ‘Free Little Libraries’ that I have spotted in our Hunt Club community: 3 photos attached.
Can you locate all three of them? (Hint: two are in ‘Hunt Club Woods’; one is in the ‘Owl Park Neighbourhood’ east of McCarthy Rd.)
Where would YOU like to see another ‘Free Little Library’ installed in our community?
Some good news: Our return box and hold lockers are now accessible once again at our Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre, with the following updated hours:
Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 8 PM
Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM.
This means that you can return any of your Ottawa Public Library borrowed materials here in our community, as well as pick up items that you have reserved and for which you have designated ‘Hunt Club Lockers’ as your pickup point.
Remember to bring …
a mobile phone with you to call the number posted on the main door of the community centre for someone to open the door to receive your returning items or to allow you access to pick up your new items from a locker;
a protective mask as per Ottawa Public Health regulations for public spaces; and
your library card to scan it in order to retrieve your held items.
Now … Imagine being able to walk to an actual library that would be as near as our community centre or our Hunt Club Centre (where the Metro and Shoppers Drug Mart are) – where you could:
drop off your books or pick-up reserved materials
sit down in a designated quiet space to read a book, a magazine or a selection of newspapers online or as hard copies
have rooms available for:
various discussion groups (ie, Canadian or world politics, arts, genealogy, community issues) or for ‘Storytime’ for toddlers,
for homework clubs, and so much more!
Have a place for culture and arts to flourish – this would change our community in such a positive way for the children, young families, youth, adults and seniors of all walks of life among us.
If you can picture the above features and would like to see improved library services in our community, please send an email letter expressing how you feel this would add value to our community to:
email@example.com (that’s me, Christine Johnson) and I will then be in touch with you for ‘next steps’.
Please provide your name and street in Hunt Club where you live, then explain how a small library branch within walking distance from your home would contribute to you, your family and our community. Many voices with the same message become quite loud and together we can make a difference in achieving our dream of having our own little library branch! If you would like more information or need help with your letter writing, please email me: