Bridging gaps, one page at a time

The committee behind a new free outdoor library project are doing their part to share the multicultural love in Cochrane.

Members of the Calgary-based Love With Humanity Association gathered alongside friends, family and Cochrane and Rocky View staff outside the Family & Community Support Services building to unveil a free, mini multi-language book exchange/library.

“We have a really strong culture in Cochrane but I think as a community over the years where we’ve been growing and it’s been so busy, we’ve taken the focus off of what is truly important to community, and that is the culture,” said mayor Jeff Genung at the unveiling ceremony.

It’s something that myself and council and administration and all of the citizens are striving for and wanting to put more of a focus on. This is an example of another key cog in the wheel of making things happen the way we want in our community, and that is by these initiatives. One by one, inch by inch, we are making a difference.”

The diverse collection of titles caters to all reading levels.

“With one library in the whole town sometimes it’s tough for everyone to get there, especially immigrants and seniors,” said Love With Humanity’s Syed Jafri.

“At these multicultural libraries, everyone can easily go by, get their books and leave some books.”

This is the sixth miniature outdoor library the group has opened, following similar projects in Calgary and surrounding communities.

“It’s a wonderful initiative in the growing multiculturalism in Cochrane, and it’s a welcoming way respect all cultures,” said Fleeha Ahma, program coordinator for Rocky View Immigrant Services.

“This is a really beautiful way for us to come together and share stories and learn from each other and build that tolerance and acceptance for each other.”

The libraries are the group’s first major initiative.

“Our next project is one in Okotoks,” said Love With Humanity’s Shahid Awan.

“We’re also arranging for seminars on subjects like how to file for taxes in Canada and drug abuse. We’re just looking for a better future in our community.”

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