Outflow (Ministry Inc.) hosts a men's shelter in the heart of Saint John. When the Covid-19 related closing began, lots of Saint Johners - especially our poorest residents - lost access to many daily supports, including the Saint John Free Public library. Sheltering in place was tough enough; sheltering in place with nothing to read was... well, bad.
Outflow spoke with us about creating an in-house library of sorts. Talking it through, they decided they wanted a shelf with good quality books, books written for adults, and books written at various levels of reading difficulty. Through a private donation, we were able to provide a 'starting kit' of mixed level reading materials, including some very popular titles by Nova Scotia newcomer William Kowalski.
|Photo from bookseller Lakesidebooks.com|
When we checked back in, a few weeks later, we heard that the Outflow library was still chugging along: helpful, popular, accessible.
For us, that last term is key, and means something more than just "in-house" or "libraries have re-opened." It also means books people can read, books they don't find too hard or too easy, too simple or too complex. "I like to read when I can read," someone told us long ago. That's been our rationale for proving good reads at multiple levels of reading difficulty ever since.