Welcome Centre welcomes gently used books at its Re-Love Library
In 2014, the Welcome Centre’s Re-Love Library started out as a shabby stack of books on an old newspaper stand. Now, it has turned into a campus-wide book exchange.
"When we first started the Re-Love Library, it just did not look pretty at all," Simone Chan says with a laugh. "No one was really noticing it and we had to put cardboard at the bottom of the newspaper rack so the books didn't fall through."
Simone and the team at the Welcome Centre came up with the idea of the Re-Love Library as a way to put to good use the unwanted books and magazines that get left with them. So they created a library of reading materials that could use some more love.
"We definitely wanted our area to be more interactive,” says Simone. “We have couches behind the desk where students sit all the time. Usually they’re on their phones or have nothing to do between classes, so we thought it would be a good idea to have something to keep them occupied."
Campus community members are free to take a book from the library whenever they need a new read, or leave a book they wish to pass along to someone else.
“We’ve seen a big following from professors,” says Simone. “And as the book selection gets more eclectic and more diverse, more students are getting into it. There are good books in there—like really well-known books that students are gravitating towards.”
Those readings have ranged from classics to graphic novels to one of Simone’s favourites: a book of short stories that tells the tales of people’s scars, and how they came to have those imperfections on their bodies.
“A lot of people are afraid to take a book because they think they’re required to leave one behind right away. But we don’t mind if you bring another book back years from now,” says Simone, highlighting how it’s a far better alternative to letting the books go to waste. “Just grab a book and read it.”
If you want to browse through the Re-Love Library or get rid of some old books, head over to the Welcome Centre in Building 7 beside the spiral staircase.
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