Book Tree plants roots in Arnprior

The Arnprior Book Tree!

The Arnprior Book Tree!

Books are growing in Arnprior!

Well sort of. A Book Tree was recently ‘planted’ at Hydro Park (beside the Arnprior Public Library on Madawaska Street) with hundreds of books for everyone to enjoy.

The concept is simple: books are located in the tree structure, which is comprised of five logs constructed by Calabogie Rustic Furniture, children, adults or whoever can read or borrow the books or put more in the tree.

Having local and free access to books is a valuable resource for everyone in our community. Now most of the books are geared towards children but there are a few adult books hidden in the tree as well.

A crowd of children surround the Book Tree all placing books in the different slots.

A crowd of children surround the Book Tree all placing books in the different slots.

During the launch a number of children helped ‘seed’ the tree by placing books in the different slots carved into the tree. Each slot is covered by a piece of plastic and weighted down by another piece of wood to help protect the books from the elements.

The Arnprior book tree is one of four that were recently installed in the County of Renfrew, the other trees are located in Killaloe, Petawawa and Pembroke and are said to be the first Book Tree structures in Canada.

The information tag explains how to track the books from the different Book Tree’s online.

The information tag explains how to track the books from the different Book Tree’s online.

The first book trees were started in Berlin, Germany and there was even a book placed in the Arnprior Book Tree from Germany. Now, if you were to borrow the book from Germany you can track its whereabouts in North America by going to www.bookcrossings.com. You can track all of the books as they all have a special code located in the cover or on the book.

The idea of a book tree in the County started in the fall of 2012 and was made possible after the Renfrew County Best Start Network was successful in a Community Action Research and Innovation Funding application through the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. The local trees were planted at no cost to the communities and are giving our children and those who need it easy and free access to books 24/7. Now in today’s culture of Google and DVD’s some may say books are fading away, I would disagree and say that is not true at all. There is nothing more precious and special than reading a book to a child. I have already started reading to and my son is not even a month old yet!

Members of Arnprior Town Council were all smiles at the launch as they place books in the new Book Tree.

Members of Arnprior Town Council were all smiles at the launch as they place books in the new Book Tree.

Arnprior Mayor David Reid placed the first book into the new Book Tree.

Arnprior Mayor David Reid placed the first book into the new Book Tree.

In a press release on the launch, County of Renfrew Warden Peter Emon said “this program is an excellent vehicle to remind and impress upon people the importance of literacy and the enjoyment of reading good books.”

I 100 per cent agree with this statement and hope more people will try and embrace this unique way to enjoy a good book. I have recently tried to re-discover my love of books and have started to use the Arnprior Library quite a bit and I think this new Book Tree will just add to making books easily accessible to everyone. The tree is there for mothers and children who are out for a walk and want to take a break or someone who is looking for a novel to take and borrow. I think this is an excellent location for the tree as well because the Town of Arnprior is currently looking to re-develop the area into a Town Square.

The beautiful Book Tree!

The beautiful Book Tree!

I encourage anyone and everyone in the Ottawa Valley to check out the Book Tree in downtown Arnprior for yourself. It’s a beautiful location and it’s a perfect excuse to sit down and read a book.

For more information on the project visit The Book Tree Renfrew County on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBookTreeRC

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