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Little Libraries poking up like crocuses in spring. Here's how to open one in the Tri-Cities

A new Little Free Library was recently installed in Coquitlam's Princeton Park, and the student who built it with her dad wants people to donate books — or start one of their own.
Shanali Beligala with books for a Little Free Library she and her dad built for Princeton Park in Coquitlam.

A Port Coquitlam teen had so much fun building and installing a Little Free Library with her dad, she wants other families to do the same.

Shanali Beligala, who is graduating from Terry Fox Secondary in June, said her library is now installed at Princeton Park in Coquitlam, and she's collecting books for it and others across the Tri-Cities.

"The reason I got really interested in doing this initiative at a park is that there are so many kids of all ages going to the park with their friends and families," she said.

"When they get a chance they can take a few books out and take them home to read."

Beligala, an avid reader herself since a very young age, has collected books for all ages for her Little Free Library and she's encouraging others to build these libraries as a "fun thing to do."

She said she's always looking for more to add. If you have a book to contribute, you're encouraged to send an email to

So, where are these 'Little Libraries?'

There are 19 Coquitlam parks with Little Free Libraries.

They're looked after by local stewards, and the city is encouraging more, explained Coquitlam parks manager Kathleen Reinheimer.

In fact, there is room at two larger sites — Blue Mountain Park and Mundy Park — for more of these tiny, hand-built structures that hold books for sharing, while also keeping them dry.

"Coquitlam Parks is very supportive of the Free Little Library initiative and happy to work with groups or individuals who are interested in supplying and/or stewarding an installation."

Typically, the city works with the donors to find a good spot close to benches, playgrounds or other gathering areas where the public will be able to enjoy a reading break.

Once a spot has been confirmed, parks staff will install the library to ensure that it’s stable and safe.

"We try to keep the process very simple and just register the library sponsor so that we can contact them if the situation changes," Reinheimer said.

Details of Coquitlam's process can be found on the city’s website.

Port Coquitlam also has Little Free Libraries and the city even has a map with additional information on its website.

There are book boxes in local businesses, several city parks and in front of residences and day cares, according to the map.

As for Beligala, she's heading off to the University of Victoria this fall to study computer science. But she plans to continue to look after her Little Library at Princeton Park in hopes of contributing to neighbours' well-being.

"I enjoy working on projects that benefit the community."