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Have you seen any 'Little Free Library' locations in the Liverpool City Region?

AS it was World Book Day on Thursday, 4 March 2021, we thought we would highlight an interesting community idea that aims to promote reading for pleasure. In recent years is becoming quite a new feature, types of wall hung library boxes have been appearing all over the UK. These small boxes aim to provide not only a helpful service, but also an extraordinarily interesting way to connect neighbourhoods. These free 'Library' book sharing boxes have blossomed all over the world and have captured the imagination of many book lovers, often within many rural communities who have lost their tradionally Library services.

Mostly these simple boxes, not only provide a 'Library' service, but have turned strangers into friends and a sometimes neighbourhoods that tradionally do not mix into community. The idea being, neighbours browse the books, take one, and return later with a replacement, or the same book. Now this movement has been finding its way onto the streets in and around Formby. The most well known of these boxes, being located on the junction of The Ravens and Ravens Meols Lane, that has since been expanded with an addition of another new box, that looks like a dollhouse.

But this is not the only location, as we have been told about yet another on Flaxfield Road, Formby, called:- 'The Book Barrel.' We have since found out this location was set up by Helen Hunter. Just like The Ravens location, Formby's Book Barrel is also book drop off and pick up location.

Yes, unlike The Ravens, that is made of wood, The Book Barrel is made from an old beer barrel. For those worried about Covid19, we will add that as well as being filled with books, they also come complete with hand sanitizer!

Taking to Helen Hunter, she said:- "I started early February because I had seen the drop off location Ravenmeols and my own children had grown out of lots of their books, which helped us to get started. It is just a bit of fun in these scary times and while library's and charity shops / book shops are closed. My husband made the barrel which works really well as its watertight! No issues apart from 1 person left a lot of books 1 day. I'm sure they meant well but I don't have space to store books, so it really only works if people take 1 and leave 1 which most people do. A few people raised Covid concerns on a local social media news site, but I leave hand gel on the latch and its cleaned regularly. It's really lovely to see little ones coming for a new bedtime story but also some of my elderly neighbours using it too! A kind lady also left some seeds for people to help themselves to."


We are aware of 2 other locations within Formby and we are keen to hear of others that our readers might know about, within the Liverpool City Region. If you know a location, please do send us a photo and also the location, as we are keen to see just how popular an idea this really is. Please also email our newsroom at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.if you have set a location up as well!

Interestingly, this is not a thing that you just find in the UK, as we have found out, this is a global movement. In the US, it has even lead to the formation of the Little Free Library that claims to be the world's largest book sharing movement!

RNIB makes accessible books free for children in the North West for World Book Day

TO celebrate World Book Day, that was on Thursday, 4 March 2021, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has been giving away thousands of books in braille and audio formats for children with vision impairment across the North West of England. The selection of 13 titles aims to support World Book Day's mission to give every child and young person a book of their own.

10year old Elodie Bateson, from County Derry, in Northern Ireland, was born with vision impairment. Elodie is a big fan of RNIB Talking Books and also enjoys braille books. She has chosen Skysteppers by Katherine Rundell from the list of titles RNIB has made accessible to celebrate World Book Day. Elodie said:- "I love reading and sometimes enjoy 5 books in a week! The best bit about getting RNIB Talking Books is that I can pick my favourite books to listen to all by myself. I use VoiceOver on my iPad and the Easyreader app so I can have the same books as my friends. My favourite books are fantasy, and my favourite author is Rick Riordan."

Elodie's mum Michelle praised RNIB's free accessible book offer for giving children with vision impairment the opportunity to own a book in a format they can read. Michelle said:- "We look forward to RNIB's book offer every year as we can't buy a book for Elodie as easily as anyone else might. I think book ownership is so important so to be able to get a book for free in a format Elodie can read is like winning a prize."

Organised by UNESCO, World Book Day is marked in more than 100 countries around the world, with 2021 being the 24th year of celebrations. World Book Day organisers are encouraging parents, children and young people of all ages to spend at least 10 minutes a day sharing a book together and celebrate reading for pleasure, helping to promote wellbeing for everyone.

James Bartlett, RNIB Library and Newsagent Manager, said:- "RNIB is delighted to support this year's World Book Day. Reading can open up a world of possibilities and enhance the imagination, which is why it is so important for every child (and adult) to be able to enjoy books of their choice. The braille and audio versions of books that we have created ensure that blind and partially sighted children can discover these stories just like any other child and share in the excitement this World Book Day."

To claim a free book in braille or audio (Daisy CD) format, call the RNIB helpline on:- 03031239999 or email:- Helpline@RNIB.Org.UK. The books will be available for free until 31 March 2021.

The titles available are:-

►  There's a Wolf in Your Book by Tom Fletcher.

►  What the Ladybird Heard (Playscript) by Julia Donaldson.

►  Gigantosaurus:- Dino-Spot by Jonny Duddle.

►  Luna Loves World Book Day by Joseph Coehlo.

►  Protect the Planet by Jess French.

►  Football School by Alexander Bellos and Ben Lyttleton.

►  Planet Omar: Operation Kind by Zanib Mian.

►  The River Whale by Sita Brahmachari.

►  Skysteppers by Katherine Rundell.

►  Little Badman and the Radioactive Samosa by Humza Arshad and Henry White.

►  Skulduggery Pleasant:- Apocalypse Kings by Derek Landy.

►  Killjoy by Holly Jackson.

►  Ha Ha Cnec by Huw Aaron.

Like all RNIB services, this invaluable resource is highly reliant on public donations and fundraising activities. If you'd like more information about the ways you can support services like RNIB's accessible books (or any of RNIB's vital work), please visit:- RNIB.Org.UK/Donate. You can also call the Helpline:- 03031239999 and choose Option 4, to speak with a member of our fundraising team.


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